Home > tear gas (Molecule of the Month for August 2004)

Picture of tear gas

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Picture of tear gas


CS gas is a non-lethal riot control agent. Tear gas is a chemical compound which, in humans, causes immediate tearing of the eyes, mild respiratory convultion, an increase in blood pressure and pulse, as well as the irritation of mucous membranes.

Tear gas is available in a number of different chemical formulations with effects ranging from mild tearing of the eyes to immediate vomiting and prostration. CS is often delivered in a fine powder via aerosol grenades. CS gas are usually used by police to disperse riots and demonstrations.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
ortho-chloro-benzal malonitrile



Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for August 2004 )