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Tear gas is the name for a number of chemical compounds. It is not actually a gas. It is a fine powder or very small drops of liquid. The chemicals in the powder are acidic and cause pain in the eyes. Tear gas may cause temporary blindness for up to 45 minutes. Tear gas is commonly used by police to control crowds. Phenacyl chloride (CN) and CS gas are two of the chemicals that are often found in tear gas. Pepper spray is another chemical compound that acts very similarly and is sometimes used to control crowds.
- Rowlatt, Jason (2 July 2011). "The 'rituals' of the Greek riots". From Our Own Correspondent. BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/9528003.stm. Retrieved 2011-10-30.