What is a pepper spray?
Mace brand pepper sprays are a careful blend of oleoresin capsicum (OC Pepper) in a non-flammable vehicle. Mace Personal Defense, Inc. manufactures several different formulas—such as traditional tear gas sprays, blended sprays and OC pepper sprays—in a variety of models and spray patterns. Mace pepper sprays are formulated to be an effective, less-than-lethal means of self defense. The following FAQ’s will help you understand the effects and benefits of each and will help you decide which Mace product and formula is right for you.
FAQ’s about Mace Pepper Sprays
What are the different formulas?
- OC Pepper: Oleoresin capsicum is a naturally occurring substance derived from hot peppers. OC Pepper causes an intense burning sensation to the skin, eyes and throat upon contact. Mace® defense sprays are available in different strengths to satisfy virtually every requirement.
- Tear Gas: Tear Gas is a lachrymatory agent, or lachrymator, which stimulates the corneal nerves in the eyes thereby causing profuse tearing and pain, an intense burning sensation to the skin and shortness of breath. Common lachrymators include CN tear gas (omega-chloroacetophenone) and CS tear gas (ortho-chlorobenzalmalononitrile).
- UV Dye: As an added defense, many of our formulations contain an ultraviolet dye. The dye will invisibly mark an assailant which may aid in identification.
- Blended Sprays: Mace® Triple Action formula combines OC Pepper, CN tear gas and UV dye. The advantage of this formula is that it that you don’t have to hit the attacker in the face; even if you hit them in the chest the tear gas will affect your attacker.
- Animal Sprays: Mace Personal Defense, Inc. also manufactures products for use as deterrents against dogs and bears. Our Muzzle® Canine Pepper Spray and Bear Pepper Mace® are EPA registered products and effective, humane, non-lethal canine and bear deterrents.
What are the different spray patterns?
- Gel: Pepper Gel® is a patent pending formula, in which the OC pepper is suspended in a sticky gel. The gel formula offers several advantages: it sprays farther and will stick to a person’s face on contact. It is also less contaminating to the surrounding area than other sprays, making it ideal for indoor use or for use in windy conditions. A MK-III unit sprays a distance up to 18 feet.
- Stream: The ballistic stream pattern is the most common in defense sprays and is available in the widest variety of models. Stream units deliver a blast of active agent in a targeted liquid stream. A MK-III unit sprays a targeted stream of 8 to 12 feet.
- Fogger: Foggers spray in a cone-shaped pattern to quickly blanket a large area. A MK-III unit will reach up to 8 feet.
- Foam: The thick foam formula discharges in a blast to cover an attacker’s face forcing the eyes to slam shut making it difficult to see. A MK-III unit will spray a distance of 8 to 10 feet.
What are the effects of pepper sprays and how long do they last?
Upon direct contact with eyes, respiratory system and mucous membranes, the active ingredients in the pepper spray will cause eyes to slam shut, coughing, and an intense burning sensation to the skin. Some formulations contain tear gas which causes profuse tearing, an intense burning sensation to the face and disorientation. Effects typically lessen in approximately 45 minutes.
What if you accidentally spray yourself or someone else?
In case of accidental exposure to the contents of your pepper spray, follow these first aid instructions:
- Remove contact lenses and contaminated clothing immediately.
- Flush contaminated area with large quantities of cool water or a diluted baking soda solution. 3) Expose the area to fresh air as soon as possible.
- Do not apply salves, creams, oils or lotions as they can trap the irritant agent against the skin and result in blisters or burns.
- Consult a physician if irritation persists.
- Contaminated clothing should be washed or dry-cleaned, as appropriate, prior to re-use to prevent skin injury.
Caution: failure to follow these instructions may result in first or second degree burns, severe skin irritation, depigmentation or other skin injury.