There is a lot of information and facts about pepper spray available but not all information is based on facts and sometimes copied from other sources. I have tried to dig a little deeper and did a lot of reading to find out more information about pepper spray.
Pepper spray is what is official called a Lachymatory agent. the word Lacrima means tear in Latin and that is why it is also called tear gas.
A lachymatory agent is a chemical compound that irritates the eyes and causes them to tear, be painful and cause temporary blindness.
The product was used first in law enforcement to be used as a less lethal form of protection for police officers to restrain a person easier. Then there was the use as an animal repellent as a defense against dogs and even bears.
The pepper spray is basically a non lethal product although there are rare cases that it might have been a contributing factor in a death.
What is the difference between pepper spray and mace
Many people think that it are two different types of pepper. Mace is however a brand name and is a pepper spray.
We sell them in our store under the Mace pepper spray category if you would like that particular brand.
How is pepper spray made
The main ingredient in pepper spray is called Capsaicin and this is chemically derived from plants in the Capsicum family and this includes chili’s.
Most of the time the pepper is finely grounded and and than ethanol is used to extract the capsaicin from it.
The ethanol is then evaporated and what is left is the oleoresin capsicum and after that it is most of the time called OC.
How is the pepper spray heat measured
Here we get in a little shady area. There is no official regulated method to describe the strength of the pepper spray you buy. Every company has its own claims and do not use the same method.
For example there are six different type of capsaicinoids that all cause a different level of irritation.
There are several methods that are used to tell you how hot the pepper spray is.
- OC percentage
- Scoville heat
- Major Capsaicinoids
What does Oc Percentage stand for
Like I mentioned OC stands for oleoresin capsicum and it is believed that a higher percentage hurts and burns more.
I basically measures the percentage of active ingredient in the pepper spray.
Problem is that there are more and less potent peppers and thus a 10% can be hotter than a 20% depending on the used peppers and the level of hotness of them.
This scale is used to measure the heat of chili peppers and is also used to measure the heat of pepper spray. It was invented in 1912 by a pharmacist called Wilbur Scoville to measure the amount of capsaicin in a pepper. Capsaicin is the chemical that that provides the heat.
Problem with this test it that it is based on the humans that samples this diluted solution. This makes it not very accurate.
This seems to be the most accurate test for the hotness of pepper spray and is done in a laboratory with the use of a chromatography testing device. Since the price for these test are high and it is not regulated most companies do not use this but refer to OC and Scoville heat.
How much heat should you go for
Like I mentioned it is my opinion that the amount of OC or Scoville is not that important. Have you ever had something burning in your eyes like pepper? Did you care how hot the pepper was? Probably not. All you cared about was how to get it our of your eyes I guess.
Higher OC or Scoville will probably burn even more, but a lower rating used in the right way will cause more discomfort than a higher rating used wrong.
What package do you need
The package depends on what situation you are keeping the pepper spray on you. If you use one for running and hiking I recommend our Mace dog pepper spray as a the one to use. This one can be carried in your hand while running just like others keep a small water bottle on them. By keeping it in your hand it is ready to use whenever the situation calls for it.
if you are just in need of an all round pepper spray I suggest that a key ring pepper spray is a good choice. Keychain pepper sprays are a very universal product that can be used in many situations and will always be with you on your keys. They can be taken of the key ring and carried on your hand also. Some of them are small enough to take with you in your pocket or purse. Very versatile and very hot. for ladies we have several fashionable colors including pink.
As a woman I can understand that you would like to have more choices to use a pepper spray depending on the activity your are planning on having for that day. That is why I created a whole page with pepper sprays for woman in our store for your to choose from.
Video of real pepper spray use
Best way to use pepper spray
in case of a real emergency there is no time to think about how to use a pepper spray the best way.
all you do is get your pepper spray out and press the release button to spray as effective as possible.
Don’t overthink this and practice as much as you can without really using your pepper spray. Take it out of your purse, pocket, holster or any place you hide your pepper spray and practice to get it as fast as you can. This should be such and automatic response that you don’t have to even think anymore.
If there is a situation that you can predict that there is a possibility that you maybe need your pepper spray then try to get the situation changed in a way that you have the over hand and control where your attacker is coming from.
Try to spray him or her with the wind in your back. also try to make your getaway path in a position that you can stay away from you attacker. Meaning that you can turn around and run to find help or call the police.
If you have sprayed your attacker the right way you will not have any problem running for help. He or she will be totally helpless for a while and this will give you the opportunity to get away.
The eyes will be one of the most effected parts of your body if you ever get sprayed with pepper spray. There is nothing you can doe about that. This is a physical reaction to the pepper spray.
There is not enough evidence to support that pepper spray can cause permanent blindness. There are however eye doctors that are convinced that repeated exposure will damage the cornea of the eye.
We will be adding more pepper spray information and facts here on a regular basis.