The New York Times touted one study that claims tear gas can make someone’s lungs more susceptible to respiratory illnesses.

Buried lede: a researcher said more studies have to happen since most of them are decades old.

I have a simple solution: don’t riot.

Then again, we have seen in these riots that people do not care about the coronavirus since they’ve ignored the social distancing rules. Some have worn gloves and masks, but not everyone.

The New York Times reported:

Along with the immediate pain that can cause watering eyes and burning throats, tear gas may cause damage to people’s lungs and make them more susceptible to getting a respiratory illness, according to studies on the risks of exposure. The gas can also incite coughing, which can further spread the virus from an infected person.

Sven-Eric Jordt, a researcher at Duke University who has studied the effects of tear gas agents, said he had been shocked to watch how much the authorities had turned to the control method in recent days.

“I’m really concerned that this might catalyze a new wave of Covid-19,” Mr. Jordt said. The virus has been linked to more than 106,000 deaths in the United States.

The study took place in 2012 by the U.S. Army:

In research conducted by the U.S. Army, examiners looked at the impacts of exposure that thousands of Army recruits had to the common riot-control agent known as CS gas or tear gas. The study conducted in the summer of 2012 found that the personnel in a basic training cohort had a substantially high risk of being found to have an acute respiratory illness in the days after exposure than the days before.

The risk increased the more people were exposed, the researchers said.

The miserable initial effects of tear gas — including stinging in the eyes and throat — typically lasts for only 15 to 30 minutes after a person who has been exposed gets to an area with cleaner air. But many of the illnesses in the Army research surfaced days after exposure. Researchers cautioned that illnesses were not lab-checked, and could have been caused by damage to the respiratory tract rather than infection, or could have been prompted by other factors.

As I noted above, Jordt stressed that the study worried him “that the effects on healthy, young military recruits may also not fully capture the risks to people who are older or have underlying conditions.”

In other words, we need more research on tear gas “since much of the research was decades old.”

It didn’t take long for people to roll their eyes and notice what the media and others are trying to deflect blame from the rioters if another outbreak comes right after these riots:

[Featured image via YouTube]


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