Removing tear gas might be one of the most challenging jobs for professionals. Tear gas is usually used to disable humans, and removing this gas can also be dangerous for the crew members who work on maintaining the properties and buildings that are affected. It is a hazardous and uncomfortable job. Unfortunately, if tear gas residue is not completely eliminated from a structure, the lasting effects can linger long after the gas is used.
However, someone needs to remove the tear gas from the building or property to make the facility functional again. Cleaning crews are there to remove the gas powder and residue with special techniques and methods based on safety measurements.
How Tear Gas Affects Humans
Tear gas can affect the crew member as well as other persons. It is created to disable humans by entering into mucous membranes and producing tears and coughing when the subject is affected. There are also burning sensations to the skin. This reaction temporarily disables the individuals to function fully, and this is why many law enforcement officials use this gas in situations when safety is endangered.
How Is Tear Gas Used?
In its original state, tear gas comes in a powder. It is heated inside the large canisters before dispersion, and that is when the gas becomes liquid. When the temperature is high enough, the gas changes from the powder state to the liquid form, and it is applied to humans. This is when the gas has its most dangerous effect.
Designed to irritate the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs, physical tear gas effects include;
those who are exposed for longer periods of time may experience vomiting and diarrhea
Law enforcement officials can use up to 100 canisters to control a site. It is a necessary measurement that has to be conducted among police officers, especially when they need to disable many people or large threatening groups such as riots or protests.
After this kind of event, the site is full of tear gas residue, it is important to hire a qualified, certified, and experienced crew to clean up the area and restore it to a safe and healthy condition.
What Is an Action Plan?
Before entering the place, the cleaning crew must determine what kind of gas was used. There are two main types of tear gas used by law enforcement officials:
Chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CN) gas – This variety is widely available and works very effectively at close range. However, it does not disperse into larger areas as rapidly as CS. It is dispersed along with an oil or solvent, causing it to stick to the skin or other areas of the body.
Chloroacetophenone (CS) gas CS (and most varieties of tear gas) is actually not a gas at room temperature. It is a mixture of a volatile solvent and a solid. The solid is pulverized into a fine powder and aerosolized to produce a “cloud” of the chemical into the air, which will then be inhaled, contacting the nose, mouth, eyes, throat, and lungs of the person targeted.
There are also other variations, but the mentioned two are the most common gases.
Many advise not to use heat to remove the gases as they can produce explosive effects in the area. It is vital to know that official bodies as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must give the green light when cleaning tear gas. This usually means reducing the HVAC systems and applying other safety measurements that contribute to a better gas removal process.
After the detailed inspection, the maintenance crew determines the following aspects:
If there are biohazards like blood or other body fluids
In what quantities is tear gas present
If there are any residues of tear gas in drywall structures
If any dyes are mixed with tear gas
All these segments must be included in the inspection to determine which kind of action might be the best part of the cleaning procedure.
How to Remove Tear Gas?
It is best to leave tear gas cleanup to the professionals. Our knowledgeable and equipped team uses personal protective equipment (PPE) and proprietary cleaning agents to ensure the highest quality of service while always adhering to OSHA, EPA, and State Health Department guidelines and procedures.
Completely ventilate the entire area. Continuing to remediate, tear gas usually moves from the upper parts of the building to the lower areas, and that is why cleaning the top floors of the building is the primary step in the tear gas removal process.
Simultaneously, the cleanup team must clean the area from the exit to the entering points or from the furthest rooms to the room nearest the exit point. During the cleaning process, the crew will use a HEPA vacuum to remove the residue. All other points except walls must be considered here.
Remove all of the contents from the scene; electronic equipment, padding, carpeting, furniture, and additional pieces must be removed before cleaning. Drywall must go through a thorough examination, and that is why cleaning becomes even more challenging. If any residue in the drywall exists, the tear gas can affect the occupants even after the cleaning process. For this reason, the cleaning team must prepare the area to be completely safe for living and work.
Before labeling the area as clean, the crew members will conduct the “sniff test,” which means adequate human detection of the tear gas. Several crew members will go into each room and sniff the area to determine any tear gas residue around. Only when all these inspections determine that the site is safe can the crew members and the cleaning staff let people live and work here.
If your home, business, or property has been affected by tear gas, we highly recommend you don’t try to clean it up yourself. 360 Hazardous has a team of trained and certified experts that are here for you 24/7. Give us a call and we will begin the cleanup process as quickly as possible, leaving your property restored, and healthy again.