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Old 02-08-2017, 12:56 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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has menthol ever been used as a crowd control agent?

Pepper spray works by stimulating the heat-sensitive nerve cells in one's skin, causing an acute burning sensation.

Menthol goes in the opposite direction, stimulating cold-sensing nerve cells. Years ago I toured the Celestial Seasonings tea factory in Boulder, Colorado. The tour included a visit to the sealed room where they stored peppermint. When they opened the door, you immediately understood why they stored it like this: the smell was overwhelming, and there was a sense of respiratory irritation that made it difficult to breathe. If they stored their peppermint in the same rooms as their other ingredients, before long all of the tea they shipped would be peppermint-flavored, regardless of the label.

So has menthol ever been used in place of pepper spray to serve as some kind of repellent/disabling agent? Not sure if it would have any advantages over pepper spray, just curious. ISTM that concentrated menthol in the eyes and on the face would be fairly incapacitating.
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:53 PM
plankter plankter is offline
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I don't have an answer for you, I just wanted to say I'm jealous that you got to do that tour.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:13 PM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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Menthol might be a skin and eye irritant, but it is added to cigarettes so the respiratory irritant potential may not be all that great. No way would I smoke a habanero cigarette.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:14 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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That room was quite amazing. They basically dared people to walk as far into the mint room as they could and almost everyone turned back after two steps, including myself, and I've half-sprayed myself with pepper spray and wasn't fazed (my eyes shut but I wasn't in any distress).
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:22 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Lots of smells aren't disagreeable in small doses; it's the high dose that sucks. Even skunk smell is pretty OK if you get just a faint whiff of it. Most of the unhappiness from a faint whiff of skunk is the knowledge of what a bigger dose is like and the concern that maybe you're heading into it.

ISTM peppermint oil, wintergreen oil, menthol, etc., are like that. In high enough density they'd be repelling. But not incapacitating.

The thing that makes CS, capsaicin spray etc., valuable as a crowd or personal control device is the incapacitating effect. A small dose stops the target cold.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:49 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post

The thing that makes CS, capsaicin spray etc., valuable as a crowd or personal control device is the incapacitating effect. A small dose stops the target cold.
I have no personal experience. The report of the army recruit I spoke to was that a small dose made him angry, upset, and irritated.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:24 PM
Mosier Mosier is offline
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
The thing that makes CS, capsaicin spray etc., valuable as a crowd or personal control device is the incapacitating effect. A small dose stops the target cold.
That's not exactly true. Many police academies use pepper spray on the trainees to knock that very notion out of their head. Pepper spray will not necessarily stop anyone cold, and in fact can absolutely escalate the conflict.
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:49 PM
Dr_Paprika Dr_Paprika is offline
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"Return to your domiciles, or we will clear your sinuses and vaporize you. Vicks vaporize you..."?
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:56 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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When you send the police to smoke someone out, they aren't gonna use Kools.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:34 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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I wonder if the persistence of an odorant is a factor in deciding its suitability for crowd control.

If menthol hangs around for days after, the people and businesses in that area might be very unhappy. They want to go about their daily lives after the incident and instead they're all gagging to death.

Other factors such as range of reactions, "backsplash" effects on the people spraying it, etc. might be involved as well. Is a controlling dose for a 300lb person going to kill an 80lb person? Does a cop really want to smell like menthol for days afterwards?
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:15 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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I remember as a kid I used to like these little chocolates called Ice Cubes (I see that they are still on the market) that felt cool in your mouth when you ate them. (It turns out that the physics of it is that the coconut oil in the candy melts at well below body temperature, absorbing heat in the process--they don't just feel cold on the tongue--they actually make your tongue cold.)

They should pelt the crowds with those.
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:25 PM
donkeyoatey donkeyoatey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
Even skunk smell is pretty OK if you get just a faint whiff of it. Most of the unhappiness from a faint whiff of skunk is the knowledge of what a bigger dose is like and the concern that maybe you're heading into it.
What the fuck does this mean?
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:46 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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What the fuck does this mean?
Moderator Note

donkeyoatey, this is a jerkish response to a perfectly understandable post. No warning issued, but don't do this again.

Colibri
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2017, 09:54 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Pepper spray works by stimulating the heat-sensitive nerve cells in one's skin, causing an acute burning sensation.

Menthol goes in the opposite direction, stimulating cold-sensing nerve cells. Years ago I toured the Celestial Seasonings tea factory in Boulder, Colorado. The tour included a visit to the sealed room where they stored peppermint. When they opened the door, you immediately understood why they stored it like this: the smell was overwhelming, and there was a sense of respiratory irritation that made it difficult to breathe. If they stored their peppermint in the same rooms as their other ingredients, before long all of the tea they shipped would be peppermint-flavored, regardless of the label.

So has menthol ever been used in place of pepper spray to serve as some kind of repellent/disabling agent? Not sure if it would have any advantages over pepper spray, just curious. ISTM that concentrated menthol in the eyes and on the face would be fairly incapacitating.
If I'm ever in a crowd being "controlled" by scent sprays, I'm putting in a vote for wintergreen (methyl salicylate).
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:06 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
If I'm ever in a crowd being "controlled" by scent sprays, I'm putting in a vote for wintergreen (methyl salicylate).
... and the nurses involuntarily shudder.
  #16  
Old 02-10-2017, 11:00 AM
quimper quimper is offline
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God I hope not. Crowd control sprays need to be non-toxic (to both applicant and applier) or reasonably close. If someone was drenched with pure peppermint extract it would probably kill them. Gas masks would be useless as the chemical would be absorbed by skin.

Plant esters such as those produced by members of the mint family (peppermint, spearmint, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, etc) are toxic in large quantities. Toxic as in 'kill you dead' type toxicity (what, you think these plants spent millions of years evolving these substances so we can have nice tasting tea!?)

Methyl salicylate is also bad. Some runner died of an overdose a few years back, presumably by rubbing too much Ben Gay on herself.
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