Compiled by Medical Doctors, according to the report the deployment "constituted the single largest deployment of chemical weapons in the history of North America".
Tear gas is used against civilian populations by 'democratic' regimes the world over, with little care for the consequences or the injuries it might cause. As an airborne agent, tear gas and its sister chemicals, are all highly toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic weapons of collective punishment, which are frequently used indiscriminately against law-abiding protesters and civilians alike, and whose incapicitating, often injurious effects, spread far beyond the proximity of their initial deployment.
Of perhaps even greater concern, is the fact that the paint thinning/varnish stripping solvent which is used to disperse the gases, methylene chloride has been documented in several dozen medical studies as causing a variety of serious illnesses including "liver and kidney damage, lung tumours, cell mutations and birth defects".
In 1969, eighty countries voted to include tear gas as among the agents banned for use in war under the Geneva protocol. In a glaring and bizarre anomaly however, these substances were not banned for use domestically.
Consequently, these chemical weapons are included within the arsenal of civilian control agents in Britain as well as the USA too. Another harassing agent deemed 'non-damaging' and routinely carried by British police officers, the inoccuous sounding pepper spray, has caused proven fatalities abroad in people suffering from pre-existing respiratory complaints.
Alongside the US, other governments with a track record of deploying tear-gas against civilian populations include South Korea and Israel. Even today Palestinian populations within Israel and independent human rights observers helping alleviate suffering in the region are regularly and systematically subjected to attacks by these chemical weapons.
Another report well worth reading is 'Tear Gas: Harassing Agent or
Toxic Chemical Weapon?' which appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol 262, No 5, August 4 1989)
Please write to your elected representatives and demand the removal of these chemical weapons from the arsenal of your government and local law enforcement agencies: