Accession Number:

ADA539686

Title:

Riot Control Agents

Descriptive Note:

Book chapter

Corporate Author:

ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INST OF CHEMICAL DEFENSE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD

Report Date:

2009-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

24.0

Abstract:

Nonlethal agents are a broad class of compounds intended to produce transient incapacitation of an individual or individuals. Both incapacitating agents and riot control agents RCA are separate classes of nonlethal agents. Although the two classes share the characteristic to incapacitate, a distinction must be drawn between these two types of agents. RCAs differ from incapacitating agents in several respects. RCAs possess a relatively short onset and limited duration of action. RCAs induce short-term toxic effects that subside within minutes following termination of the exposure. Additionally, modem RCAs have a very high safety ratio compared to incapacitating agents and first generation RCAs. Many incapacitating agents were developed during the Cold War which produced either limited lethality andor prolonged morbidity. Consequently, incapacitating agents have been banned by international treaties recognized by the USA, including the Chemical Weapons Convention CWC. Specifically, the CWC has placed a ban on the development, production, and possession of any chemical weapon intended to cause death or temporary incapacitation. The USA considers these broad incapacitating agents as chemical warfare agents CW As. However, the USA does not recognize RCAs as CW As, and therefore, US policy considers them to be legal for use by civilian police or the military. The CWC does prohibit their use in times of war. Thus, the USA has opted not to utilize RCAs in Iraq during the early 21st century against organized and armed insurgents. While the field of nonlethal agents is diverse and interesting, we will limit our discussion to only those agents considered to be RCAs. The goal of RCAs is to temporarily incapacitate through irritating the skin and mucosal membranes of the eyes, airways, and digestive tract.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Toxicology
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE