Q505: What is CS spray made up of and when do the police use it?

CS (named after the initials of the inventors Corson and Staughton) combines the compound (o-chlorobenzylidine malononitrile) a white crystalline substance which is dissolved in the inert solvent MiBK (methyl iso-butyl ketone) and held by this substance in suspension. When it is expelled from the canister as a liquid jet, the CS compound which is suspended in the liquid compound (MiBK) separates from the matrix liquid on contact with the air.

For an example of what a CS canister looks like, see website in related information. Any canister of whatever description, designed or adapted for discharge of CS spray is a prohibited weapon.

Police officers are properly and regularly trained in the use of CS spray and it is used when appropriate by officers when they feel that the offender poses a risk to themselves and/or the police officers and others in the vicinity.

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