Tips for Getting Rid of Tear Gas Exposure

3 October 2022 12:41 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaAt least 125 people have died in a crush at Kanjuruhan football Stadium, Malang after the police fired tear gas in response to a pitch invasion by fans on Saturday night, October 1, 2022. They suffered shortness of breath, lost consciousness, and were trampled while trying to escape the overcrowded stadium.

A lecturer at the Medical Faculty of Surabaya’s Muhammadiyah University, Dede Nasrullah, said tear gas contains three groups of chemicals, including chloroacetophenone or CN and chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile or CS.

“Direct exposure to these chemicals can cause irritation in the eyes, respiratory system, and skin,” said Dede.

CS is usually formulated with several chemicals, particularly methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) which is used as a carrier. They are associated with nerve receptors that cause pain. When tear gas is exposed to the skin, especially on the face and eyes, it causes a burning and stinging sensation.

“It also causes itching, heat, and blurred vision. Other symptoms related to breathing problems, such as difficulty breathing, coughing, nausea, and vomiting,” he added.

When getting exposed to tear gas, Dede said the first thing one must do is flush your eyes with clean running water to reduce the CS concentration. Secondly, cover your nose, eyes, and mouth tightly with a mask to minimize the inhalation of the gas.

Thirdly, immediately change clothes contaminated with the gas and do not touch body parts. Then move away from the area covered by the gas immediately and seek medical help if the effects persist 20 minutes after or if you experience shortness of breath.

Dede further opined that the security measure using tear gas at the football stadium was a violation of FIFA's security code of ethics. Tear gas fired by the police into the crowded stadium triggered panic and chaos, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives.

“Hopefully all of us learn from this incident so that Indonesia’s football will be better and no similar incident recur in the future because life is above all,” he concluded.

DEVY ERNIS

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