Tear Gas, Pepper Spray, and PAVA
As non-lethal defense sprays rise in popularity, so too do the number of options available. The two most common are Tear Gas (CS or CN) and Pepper Spray (OC), but PAVA has quickly become a viable alternative as well. What’s the difference, and which one is best? All share similar properties and effects when used against human adversaries, namely causing intense burning or stinging sensations, and difficult seeing and breathing.
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS Gas) and ω-chloroacetophenone (CN Gas) are man made substances commonly referred to as Tear Gas, most commonly used as riot control. Tear gas has a 5-30 second delay before targets are affected. This means while it may be useful in crowd control situations, it’s not an ideal solution for personal defense. Additionally, tear gas is less potent when the target is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or in a psychotic state. Some people have even been known to have a natural immunity to tear gas, or react less severely after being introduced to the spray.
Pepper Spray (OC)
Unlike Tear Gas, Pepper Spray is naturally derived from pepper plants. It acts as an inflammatory agent, rather than an irritant. This makes the effects instantaneous! The moment pepper spray touches the skin, intense burning sensations begin. When in contact with the eyes, they swell shut and begin to water profusely. Finally, uncontrollable coughing results when pepper spray meets the throat and lungs.
These effects can last up to 3 hours depending on strength and amounts, and rarely result in injury. Allergic reaction to pepper spray is extremely rare. The majority of those who come into contact with it experience the above symptoms for several hours, with no lasting side effects.
Pepper spray does have potential downsides when used for self defense. Depending on the delivery mechanism, the tiny particles can be caught in cross winds, causing blowback on the user. Needless to say, this impairs your ability to seek help.
The best of both worlds, PAVA is a man made compound created in the lab, where efficacy and power can be finely tuned. It also utilizes the same instantaneous properties found in pepper spray. These factors make PAVA an ideal solution for personal protection.
HERO™ products keep users safe with PAVA based projectiles in both powder and gel forms. Fired from a safe distance, our defense tools protect the user from cross-contamination while directly affecting assailants with the full force of powerful chemical deterrent.
HERO™ 2020 is the first in this line of powerful non-lethal solutions, winning the Self Defense Product of the Year Award. HERO™ 2020 is available and shipping now!