Pepper Spray, also known as OC is a derivative of HOT CAYENNE PEPPERS and is the active agent in most popular self defense pepper sprays. It is not an irritant like the tear gases, but an inflammatory agent. Contact with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat and lungs) will cause IMMEDIATE dilation of the capillaries of the eyes, resulting in TEMPORARY BLINDNESS and instant inflammation of the breathing tube tissues, cutting off ALL BUT LIFE-SUPPORT BREATHING. Pepper Spray "shelf-life" does not deteriorate with age and unlike the tear gasses, WILL NOT CAUSE LASTING AFTEREFFECTS.
How to Carry Pepper Spray?
The American Security Institute recommends carrying the largest size pepper spray that is practical and legal for you. Most 2 ounce sprays are about 4" long and 1" in diameter- small enough to clip onto a purse or a belt. If you find this size inconvenient or impractical, carry a keychain spray. The biggest advantage of the keychain spray is that you're not likely to forget it.
Choosing a Defense Spray
Over the last several years, the popularity of self defense sprays, mistakenly called tear gas or Mace, has grown tremendously. The rising rate of violent crime, the publicity and media coverage of such crimes, and the reasoning, "If it's good enough for the cops, it's good enough for me", has led more and more citizens to rely on these devices. The demand for defense sprays has become so great that today there are literally dozens of different brands, types, and size to choose from. To confuse matters further, there are three basic chemical compositions used, only one of which is worth considering for civilian self-defense.