There are serious side effects of exposures to tear gas.
Most of us are unaware of the serious immediate and long-term deleterious effects of tear gas on the human body.
For most people, tear gas seems to imply something innocuous— you would think it’s just a chemical that makes your eyes burn and teary.
In fact, tear gas is a dangerous, potentially lethal chemical agent which is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
When tear gas was initially approved for use, the research was conducted in a very small dose on soldiers who were strongly built and were at their peak of health. Tear gas has never been tested on children, women and elderly before its approval. The use of tear gas by countries have resulted in many deaths, due in some cases to tear gas canisters being fired at a high velocity as projectile weapons, though in other cases it is due to the exposure to the gas itself.
The health consequences of tear gas include coughing, shortness of breath, asthma and other lung-related problems (heighted in people who already have lung problems), skin allergy, delayed menstruation, miscarriages and stillbirths.
There are some reports that tear gas exposure may cause contact lenses to fuse to the eyes and cause permanent blindness.
A survey of 546 people in Turkey who inhaled tear gas during public protests, it was found that 80 per cent reported a lasting cough, 70pc reported breathing problems, 45pc phlegm production and 43pc chest pain.
Many international human rights as well as medical organisations are demanding to suspend the use of tear gas until new medical reports dispel any doubts about the appropriateness of employing these gases to confront situations of public disorder.
The authorities concerned in Pakistan must review their policy of tear gassing protesters, especially when small children and women are present.