Pepper Spray Primer

Keychain pepper sprays are often recommended as a self defense item. But what exactly is in one?

We'll go over what's in pepper spray, what each of those things does, and more to give you a good idea of what exactly protected people are carrying with them.

Pepper spray has a few different names. It can be called OC spray, OC gas, or even capsicum spray. These sprays are what is known as a "lachrymatory agent."

What does that mean, you ask? It means it's a chemical compound that is designed to irritate a person's eyes. It can cause tearing, pain, and in some cases, temporary blindness.

So what's it used for? It's often used by police for riot control, controlling a crowd, or for personal defense. It can be used against people, dogs, or even bears to protect the holder from harm. The person being sprayed will be disoriented and temporarily blind.

This can allow police to more easily apprehend a person or for someone using it in self-defense, to escape from an attacker.

Made Of

The main ingredient in pepper spray is called capsaicin. It is a chemical that is derived from plants in Capsicum genus such as chilies.

In order to get oleoresin capsicum from the peppers, the capsicum has to be finely ground. Then an organic solvent like ethanol is used.

Once the solvent is evaporated, you're left with a wax-like resin that is the oleoresin capsicum.

Once you have the oleoresin capsicum, you then use an emulsifier, like propylene glycol, to hold the oleoresin capsicum in water. Lastly, you would pressurize it so that it can be used in an aerosol spray form.

Effects Of

The effects of pepper spray can vary. It will depend on the strength of the pepper spray and how much was sprayed onto the person.

On average, the pepper spray will last for around half an hour to forty-five minutes. There can be lasting effects, though diminished, for a few hours.

A single exposure to oleoresin capsicum generally doesn't cause any harm to the eyes. However, repeated exposure can cause problems such as changes in your corneal sensitivity.

Being exposed to pepper spray has side effects. The person sprayed will be rendered blind for about fifteen to thirty minutes. They will also have a burning sensation in their eyes and surrounding skin for around forty-five to sixty minutes after exposure. The person may also experience spasms in the upper body and uncontrollable coughing for around three to fifteen minutes.

Pepper spray can be a great weapon for self-defense, but it's not something that should be used lightly. If you feel threatened, spray the person in the face and then get out of the area. Seek help.

All of these keychain pepper sprays have keyrings or attachments already in place so you can easily carry them with your keys. With a self defense spray always with you, you'll be ready to defend yourself if something happens.