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Guardian Self Defense and Security Blog

What is Pepper Spray? What is Mace?

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What is Pepper Spray? Pepper Spray is an aerosol spray used for self-defense and personal protection. Pepper Spray is a self defense spray that consists of a concentrated agent injected into a pressurized canister and dispersed, or sprayed, by aerosol. The concentrated or active agent is Oleoresin Capsicum. Oleoresin Capsicum is a derivative of various hot pepper plants and is the chemical that gives peppers their hot quality. For this reason defense sprays are often called pepper sprays. Also, Oleoresin Capsicum is known as “OC” for short. That is why pepper spray is commonly referred to as OC pepper spray. What is Mace? Over the last several years the popularity of self defense sprays, mistakenly called Mace, has grown considerably. Just as many people mistakenly refer to soft drinks or cold drinks as “Coke” or refer to a photocopy as a “Xerox,” many people refer to defense sprays as “Mace.” Mace is a brand marketed by Mace Security International (MSI). MSI originally marketed a particular tear gas self defense spray. Today, Mace brand defense sprays either contain OC pepper, tear gas or both. Guardian Self Defense carries a huge selection of Mace defensive sprays. The Physical Effects of Pepper Spray Pepper Spray has four physiological effects that may be experienced: 1. Eyes - tearing, involuntary closing or complete closing due to dilation of the eye capillaries. Eyes will appear red/bloodshot for 30 to 60 minutes. People wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses will be equally affected. 2. Respiratory System - immediate inflammation, including swelling of the throat lining which can restrict the airway size. Respiratory functions return to normal within 10 to 45 minutes. The airway will be open enough to allow for sufficient oxygen flow for survival. Due to the reduced airway flow, the person will probably not receive enough oxygen to continue fighting or other sustained physical exertion. Temporary paralysis of the larynx. Uncontrollable coughing, retching, and gasping for air with a gagging sensation in the throat. 3. Effect on the skin: inflammation of the exposed skin with a burning sensation. 4. Effects on muscle coordination: pepper spray exposure may cause a person to lose balance due to the effect of pepper spray on vision.

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