OC Pepper Spray Fact Sheet
Published September 06, 2006
What it is: Pepper spray, in everyday terms, is an irritating substance extracted from the cayenne pepper plant, which is mixed with natural oil. This mixture is placed into a container and pressurized to create a spray or an aerosol. The cayenne pepper plant is better known as a very hot spice used for cooking and is also used in prescription drugs. Pepper spray is also known as oleoresin capsicum (O.C. spray).
If sprayed in eyes: Being sprayed in the face will cause dilation of the capillaries and instant pain and closing of the eyes caused by swelling of the eyelids. Effects ranges from serve twitching or spasmodic contraction of the eyelids to involuntary closing of the eyes. Don't be fooled; people wearing glass will be equally affected.
If inhaled: Being sprayed produces immediate respiratory inflammation. It will cause swelling inside of the nose, mouth, sinuses and other mucus membranes. Which causes uncontrolled coughing, retching, shortness of breath and gasping for air with a gagging sensation to the throat and nose.
Skin: OC causes an immediate burning sensation on the skin. Lips can swell and discolor. Depending on the complexion of the individual, skin color will range from light to bright redness.
If sprayed, the following actions are suggested:
1) Wash the exposed area with soap and water, to remove all oils and dirt,
which might entrap the irritant.
2) Flush exposed area profusely with cold water 3 to 5 minutes.
3) Keep the washed areas exposed to fresh air to allow the irritant to
4) DO NOT apply oil or grease medications such as butter, cold cream, lotions, salves, Lanolin or Petroleum Jelly, which could further trap the irritants.
5) DO NOT bandage the exposed areas.
6) Keep the area exposed to fresh air!