Does pepper spray expire?

Self-defense is a term that might evoke thoughts of violence and abuse. However, self defense can be anything from learning how to box to learning the martial arts. In fact, most people use it as a defense against verbal abuse or disregard for their safety when interacting in public spaces. 

More specifically, many women find and carry self defense weapons that help them feel more independent and safe in their day to day lives. It's also important for children due to the increased incidence of school shootings and other forms of violence among teens. Different varieties of weapons are also available to use in terms of defense.

One of these weapons is a pepper spray. Everyone can easily understand this tool by its name. It comes in a small bottle filled with liquid spray having different chemicals and oil of pepper. This is considered as one of the most useful and handy weapons when it comes to self defense. 

Pepper Spray: An In-Depth Look

A pepper spray is a device that sprays a stream of peppers and other spices to irritate the eyes, nose, mouth, or genitals. It is generally carried on the body in order to spray it at an attacker as a last resort when escape or self-defense are impossible.

When sprayed onto the skin, this spray causes extremely painful burning sensations and eye irritation which can lead to permanent blindness in some cases. These sprays are typically classified by their method of delivery: contact sprayers that rely on direct contact to operate; handheld aerosol canisters; or carrier devices like key chains and belt clips with trigger buttons.

Pepper spraying has limited penetration; it is effective only if used directly in the eyes or on the skin. It is used on clothing that will not penetrate to the skin, and as a result, is less effective. 

Pepper spray

Other Sprays Commonly Used

The most widely used spray on the market is mace, which is available to civilians in many countries.  Other chemicals that may be found in mace are chloroacetophenone (CN), ortho chloro benzaldehyde malononitrile (CS) and nonivamide (PAVA). The effects of these chemicals are similar to the spray but last for a shorter duration period. Other formulations include CS gas and CR gas (tear gas).

Mace is an aerosol form of tear gas originally developed for riot control, but is now marketed as a self-defense product. It is intended to cause pain and temporary incapacitation, thereby giving the user time to escape from an attack. The spray reaches its target by means of an aerosol propellant.

First used in World War I, the U.S. military developed mace as an alternative to more-lethal weapons such as flamethrowers and chemical warfare agents. In 1919, the chemical was brought to America under the name "chicken poop bomb" when it was introduced as a hand grenade filler by A. J. Vargo, Co., Inc., a munitions manufacturer in Washington, D.

Components of Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is made from a lachrymatory agent, basically an irritating compound that creates tears and respiratory irritation. The active components in this spray are a type of capsaicin, which are present in peppers like the habanero and jalapeno.

The majority of the pepper's potency comes from a chemical called capsaicin (8-methyl nonenamide), which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects on human skin, but can also cause pain or discomfort to any living organism with sensory nerve endings. This is because it binds to "transient receptor potential vanilloid 1" (TRPV1) receptors on your skin cells. 

It should be known that there are two different classes of TRPV1 receptors: receptor TRPV1, and receptor TRPV2. Receptor TRPM8 is less understood than the other two TRPs. Receptors TRPV1 and TRPM8 are responsible for detecting warmth and cold respectively. 

Effects of Pepper Spraying

When any of these receptors are activated, they trigger an action potential within the cell. This causes your nerves to send a signal to your brain that stimulates your perception of pain (or temperature). For example, if you touch something that is very hot, then the heat-sensitive receptors in your hand will activate, resulting in pain that tells you to pull back. 

Now that you know this, it also means that pepper spray must be activated by heat to be effective. The lachrymatory agent in the spray should cause your eyes to water and cause you to sneeze due to the irritation, but the protective effects of your eyelids will keep the material from entering your eyes (or any other body part).

Mixture of Chemicals

This spray is a mixture of different chemicals within one can. Each chemical has its own variety of uses. For example, the lachrymatory agent is used as a tear gas in riot control (that's what it was originally made for), while capsaicin produces the psychotropic effects of pepper spraying. 

When you spray the pepper shower into the air, it is carried by the air, and if it lands on you, it will diffuse into your skin. Once in your skin (or clothes), capsaicin will begin working to irritate your sensory nerve endings. Your eyes, nose, and respiratory system will be irritated from the lachrymatory agent when sprayed into them. 

These effects are not harmful to you; but they do cause discomfort and irritation to those who are attacked with this spray. It will also produce uncomfortable burning sensations in the mucus membranes in your nose and throat. As for its use within a police force, this spray may be used to deter criminals from attacking an officer or civilian.

Pepper spray

Expiry of Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray expires in about 3 years, it should be stored in a cool dark place. If stored properly and not agitated then this spray will not expire till the expiration date. To make sure that your spray has not expired then you can check the expiration date by either the batch information on the bottom of the canister or by looking at your manufacturer's label on the canister. 

Also this spray’s shelf life will vary depending upon whether or not it is made with oleoresin capsicum which is a natural pesticide made from cayenne peppers, this natural ingredient provides a longer shelf-life because of its preservant properties than does an ethanol based formulation that contains no such preservative agents.

This spray is a solution of the active ingredient oleoresin capsicum (OC) in an agent called alkyl-substituted cyclohexane ethanolamine. oleoresins are a stable form of capsicum, the active ingredient in peppers. OC solutions usually contain an emulsifier and water to create a cream-consistency, making it easier to apply. 

The concentration of oleoresin varies depending on factors such as altitude, temperature and age of the spray canister. Commercial pepper spraying products are generally 50% OC (the other 50% being water). This means that there are 10 times more OF than water in each aerosol canister.

Reagent-grade sprays are created by concentrating the oleoresin capsicum from a commercial formulation in such a way that makes it considerably more potent. 8.33% Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) is about equal to 3 million scoville heat units (SHU). 

A jalapeño pepper measures about 5,000 to 20,000 SHUs on the scoville scale. The Tabasco sauce hot sauce has about 50,000 SHUs, making it significantly hotter than pepper one.

Read More: How and When Does Pepper Spray Expire?

Popular Self Defense Tool Since Ages

Pepper spray has been a popular item to carry and use since the 1980's. It is an effective tool which can SAVE YOUR LIFE in some situations. This spray, however, is not an effective tool for all situations where violence may occur or for every situation that you find yourself in.

This spray is used in the defense industry as a "less-lethal" force. It has been proven to be effective for certain situations, such as crowd control and self-defense. It is not a legal weapon or tool to use in many states, which is unfortunate because it can save lives in other situations besides where it is allowed.

The act of spraying this spray onto another person should only be used for self-defense purposes ONLY and never for any other reason. There are many reasons why one should refrain from using pepper spray and overusing it in general.

Pepper Spray - A Non Lethal Self Defense Weapon?

The main reason why this spray is not a very effective weapon is because it is only an inflammatory agent, which means that it causes inflammation and irritation of the eyes, nose, and lungs. For some users, this can also result in temporary blindness. 

Pepper spray will not be effective against many people in situations where you would need to defend yourself because they are on drugs other than marijuana or other drugs with hallucinogenic effects. These drugs increase the body temperature of a person exponentially and cause them to sweat more profusely than normal, which will lessen the effects of pepper spraying.