How Does Mace Work?

  1. What Is Mace?

    • Mace is actually a brand name of self-defense products. The name is associated with pepper spray, but many companies besides Mace manufacture pepper spray. Mace manufactures three types of this product: Pepper Foam, Triple Action and PepperGard or Pepper Mace. Triple Action includes pepper spray, tear gas and ultraviolet dye in the formula. PepperGard and Pepper Mace leave out the tear gas. So does Pepper Foam, but it sprays on in a thick foam instead of a spray. Pepper spray is made from cayenne pepper concentrate known as OC. It can cause temporary blindness and trouble breathing because it is an inflammatory agent. Tear gas is known as an irritant that can cause coughing and tearing eyes. The dye is included to identify attackers once they are caught.

    How Mace Works

    • If you are in danger of being attacked, you can spray one of the Mace products into the face of the attacker. You only need to spray for a couple of seconds. The Mace affects some people much faster than others. If the first spray only slowed them down a bit, then spray them in the face again. This should have them incapacitated enough for you to run and get help. The spray works by temporarily blinding attackers and making it hard for them to breath. It burns the eyes, skin and throat, although it does not normally cause any permanent damage. The effects will last from 15 to 90 minutes, giving you plenty of time to get away.

    Test Your Spray and Other Concerns

    • When you buy Mace, you should test it to make sure it works properly. Go outdoors and make sure the wind is not coming toward you. Spray for half a second just to make sure it sprays. You don't want to find out the can doesn't work while you're being attacked. Check the expiration date and replace it before that date comes up. Do not try to take Mace on an airplane with you--it is not permitted and carries a heavy fine. Some states have restrictions on how concentrated the paper spray can be or if you can use the UV dye. Check with your local police department to find out what is acceptable in your area. You also must be 18 to buy Mace.

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  • Photo Credit RAFAEL ANGEL IRUSTA MACHIN

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