toxics report on N30

Lisa & Ian Murray seamus at
Thu Mar 2 16:44:28 PST 2000

Subject: Alert! Regarding Seattle Tear Gas



Regarding Seattle Tear Gas


From: Paul Cienfuegos <cienfuegos at> Subject: Tear Gas additives identified by WA Toxics Coalition

This was just forwarded to me by the WA Toxics Coalition office in Seattle. Please share it widely with your lists. Thanks! Paul Cienfuegos

The Washington Toxics Coaltion recently requested and received Material Safety Data Sheets from the Seattle Police Department for all chemicals used in crowd control during WTO protests the week of November 29. The Department reported the use of an OC gas (active ingredient is oleoresin of capsicum), Pyrotechnic CS agent (o-chlorobenzalmalononitrile) and Liquid Agent CN (chlorolactetophenone).

One disturbing find was the solvent used in the CN agent. The MSDS indicated that the agent is 50% active ingredient and 50% methylene chloride as a solvent. Methylene chloride is a possible/anticipated carcinogen as reported by the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The National Library of Medicine's Toxnet website reports it to be an experimental carcinogen, tumorigen, teratogen (causes birth defects when it reaches egg or sperm cells of the parents, or the developing fetus) with experimental reproductive effects. The site also indicates that human mutagen (causes mutations in cells) data exists.

In addition to these serious effects, central nervous system depression is reported. Many of the nervous system effects given on the Toxnet site are similar to those experienced by protesters. Some of the symptoms listed by Toxnet are lethargy, mental confusion, headache, tingling of the limbs, acoustical and optical delusions, liver and kidney damage, increased risk of spontaneous abortion, coma, and death.

Another dangerous effect of methylene chloride is described in Gosselin's Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products. The compound is metabolized to carbon monoxide in humans, which could be dangerous to persons with asthma or cardiovascular problems.

In short, methylene chloride is a dangerous solvent suspected of causing cancer, tumor growth, birth defects, reproductive system effects, cell mutations and central nervous system depression.


forwarded by The Edmonds Institute beb at

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