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Banner poison center shares safety tips on riot control agents

Smoke billows after Phoenix police used tear gas outside the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix. Protests were held against President Donald Trump as he hosted a rally inside the convention center. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Protests in response to the death of George Floyd have taken place across Arizona over the last week.

While most of the marches have been predominately peaceful, some were declared as unlawful assemblies and required the use of riot control agents.

Riot control agents refer to a category of chemicals such as pepper spray and tear gas that cause acute eye pain, tearing skin irritation and respiratory tract irritation.

On Friday, the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center released safety tips for those who may have been exposed.

Exposure to these chemicals can come via inhalation as well as skin or eye contact.

Those who have exposed should immediately remove any exposed clothing and rinse their face. The poison center advises anyone who gets the agent in their eyes to rinse for at least 10 minutes and to wash it off skin with large amounts of soap and water.

Those with preexisting lung problems such as asthma and COPD have an increased risk for breathing problems if they come in contact with riot control agents.

The poison center also advises all protesters to adequately hydrate prior to marching and to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for social distancing to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Anyone that believes they have been exposed to chemicals, poison or medication can contact poison control for further assistance at 1-800-222-1222.

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