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The following is a list of frequently asked questions regarding OC ASRs:
- How do I determine which strength of OC spray to use ...?
- Which type of spray pattern is best ... ?
- What difference does it make if the propellant is a liquified propellant versus a gaseous
propellant ... ?
- Why is isopropyl alcohol a problem ... ?
- Is it important to have an ultraviolet dye in the
spray ... ?
- How prevalent are carcinogenic materials in OC
sprays ... ?
- What are the key characteristics of the Reliapon
ASRs ... ?
- How is OC (pepper spray) different than CS/CN (tear
- Would I be better purchasing a combination product (OC and CS or
Certainly it is important to insure that the strength is sufficient to incapacitate the subject, but not cause permanent harm. We believe that the maximum OC strength should not exceed 2,000,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). As important, if not more important, is that the major capsaicinoid level. This level should be at least .5% to a maximum of 1.25%. Sprays with less than .5% major capsaicinoid content will more than likely not have the desired stopping power, thus creating the possibility of an escalation of force, or at the least an unneeded confrontation and possible injury to the subject or the officer. Please see the Section "OC
Pungency Chart" for more information.
This depends depends on a number of factors: to name a few---airstream contamination issues; the number of subjects to be targeted; the types of situations and utilization of the product; personal preference. Please see the Section "Reliapon
ASR Formulation Matrix" for more information.
While many products utilize the gas type propellants, which are much cheaper, they represent a false choice: that is, with a pure gas propellant, every time the ASR is fired, the charge decreases in the can, meaning that the OC travels less distance and with less force on each and every successive spray. On the other hand, with
a liquefied propellant, the charge in the can remains the same with each and every spray, meaning that each spray goes the same distance and is emitted with the same force. In addition, due to the nature of pure gas propellant-type sprays, they must be "test-fired" every so often to see if they still retain a charge. On the other hand,
a liquefied propellant-type spray does not need to be test-fired--if the liquid can be heard or felt in the can, it will fire. These two major differences alone, once understood, eventually lead most Departments to switch to ASRs they can depend on---that is, first and foremost, depend upon firing; and secondly, depend upon firing the same distance every time.
Certain companies use isopropyl alcohol in their sprays for various reasons--one of which is economics. However, according to
its Material Safety Data Sheet, isopropyl alcohol can cause corneal burns, and furthermore, it is very flammable. There have been cases where a person sprayed has also been set on fire, resulting in severe burns.
Ultraviolet dyes really do not serve any serious purpose in use by law enforcement, but do fill the can with cheap materials.
Unfortunately, it is much more common than one would expect. A person reviewing various sprays should carefully review Material Safety Data Sheets and other information with regard to the contents of the sprays. If the manufacturer claims a "trade secret", they it should at least reveal the individual components upon inquiry. If not, let the buyer beware. Even today, certain manufacturers use known carcinogens, such as Methylene Chloride and others in their products. This is an obvious major problem, but it also sets into motion significant, costly and time-consuming reporting and training required by OSHA to protect employees being exposed to these carcinogens.
All of our sprays use the highest grade oleoresin capsicum made from habanero peppers--the hottest of the peppers. All of our ASRs are rated at 2,000,000, with the exception of one specialized spray. All of our ASRs are nonflammable, and none contain any known carcinogens or isopropyl alcohol. All of our sprays utilize a
liquefied propellant, allowing for the most powerful, consistent sprays. With the incorporation of our exclusive
AIE™ technology, all of our sprays emit more potent and more effective spray patterns and amounts of product per second/burst. Our streamy foam product is totally unique, in that it is emitted as a foam but lands as a stream, thus eliminating any "throwback"--and there is no airstream contamination of any kind.
OC is an inflammatory agent, whereas CS/CN is an irritant. OC will swell the mucous membranes (respiratory system) and eye capillaries, causing temporary blindness and preventing all but life-support breathing, in addition to the burning skin sensations. CS/CN, if directed into the eyes will cause heavy tearing and burning sensations, and will have burning skin sensations when sprayed on the skin. OC,
properly utilized, should cause no permanent damage. CS/CN can cause permanent damage to the skin. OC effects are immediate, especially if the OC is delivered in a fog or mist format, or if allowed to vaporize quickly. (NOTE: ALL RELIAPON PRODUCTS, INCLUDING STROAM ARE QUICK ACTING.) CS/CN effects: if sprayed directly into the eyes, tearing will occur quickly. However, with CS/CN, subduing the subject may be much more difficult than would be the case with an effective OC product. Also, persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol are much more likely to be subdued quickly using an OC product than a CS/CN product, as the OC effects are involuntary, while the CS/CN products require a person to experience pain. Further, CS/CN products are not effective on dogs, as dogs do not have tear ducts.
No, because the two are different entirely different products as to type and performance. Including CS or CN in OC products merely acts to dilute the effect of the OC. Basically, the manufacturer may be filling the can with cheaper, less effective products.
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