The ViewPoint

Don’t Try This at Home: Pepper Spray Challenge

Maria Olnes, Graphic Design Artist/Reporter

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“It burns! It stings! Make it end! I can’t open my eyes!”

Type in the word “challenge” into the search bar on Youtube, and you’ll find some interesting results.

Everyone knows that you can’t drink a gallon of milk in an hour. But how do you know? Someone had to try it. More and more lately, teens have been looking to stretch the limits on pain tolerance.

The latest challenge? Pepper spray. How does it feel to get pepper spray in the face?  Well a young Northeast student found out just how much pain one can go through for what was once thought as an act of defense.

Alex Gardea, 19, and Garret Ehrenfried , 20, set out to prove their toughness against  the Pepper Spray Challenge.

Pepper spray is a lachrymatory agent, a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness, that is used in riot control, crowd control and personal self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears.

Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision. This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits people using pepper spray for self-defense an opportunity to escape.

The initial reaction, should the spray be directed at the face, is involuntary closing of the eyes, an instant sensation of the limit of the airways and the general feeling of sudden and intense, searing pain in the face, nose, and throat. Coughing almost always follows the initial spray. Breathing through the nose or mouth leads to ingestion of the chemical, which feeds the feeling of choking.

The burning reaction lasts, in some cases, for up to four hours. Intense headaches can result in some situations.

Garret and Alex braved the SABRE Self Defense Pepper Spray. The most popular SABRE style, the Quick Release, is a small, but powerful 0.54 oz container delivering a stream which reduces wind blow-back.

This compact canister delivers approximately 25 shots with a range of 10 feet. Alex and Garret were good sports about participating. A few people who stood on the side lines caught a wind blow-back of the spray and instantly began to feel its affects, which is nothing compared to being sprayed directly in the face like the two participants.

Two hours after Alex was sprayed she said, “It was painful but it was a thrill.”

And remember, Don’t Try This At Home! Warning: The following video features stunts performed either by professionals or under the supervision of professionals. Accordingly, The ViewPoint and the producers must insist that no one attempt to recreate or re-enact any stunt or activity preformed on this video.

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Don’t Try This at Home: Pepper Spray Challenge