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Acute effects of exposure to orthochlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS) and the development of tolerance
  1. F. W. Beswick,
  2. P. Holland,
  3. K. H. Kemp
  1. Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, Wilts


    Beswick, F. W., Holland, P., and Kemp, K. H. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 298-306. Acute effects of exposure to orthochlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS) and the development of tolerance. Of the many compounds capable of producing irritation of the eyes and upper respiratory tract two, ω-chloroacetophenone and orthochlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS), have been used as riot control agents. The latter, CS, has been in use for more than 10 years and is currently still in service. When dispersed as a smoke consisting of 1-micron diameter particles CS will produce lachrymation and pain and discomfort in the upper respiratory tract and chest. Exposed individuals become apprehensive and highly motivated to escape from the smoke. Recovery from these effects occurs within minutes of the affected individual reaching fresh air.

    The present study reports the effects produced by CS aerosol on 35 healthy male volunteers who were exposed in such a way that the total dose of the agent received by each man was greater than that which he might have received in an actual riot; this was achieved by taking advantage of the fact that adaptation to the effects of CS occurs if exposure is gradual and to low concentrations. In addition to the clinical observations, cardiological, respiratory, and biochemical observations were made. No abnormalities were observed in the electrocardiogram, respiratory function tests or the blood biochemistry and cell constitution. Such changes that were observed could be ascribed to the emotional stress and discomfort of the experiment.

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