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Tear gas is a chemical weapon that the Geneva Convention bans from use in international warfare. In the Ferguson, Mo. riots, police have used it repeatedly to disperse ongoing riots. Sven-Eric Jordt, a scientist at Duke University who researches tear gas said, “I’m very concerned about the increased use, and the much laxer attitude we’ve developed towards the potential health effects.” Jordt says we know a decent amount about how tear gas effects the body in the short-term: it activates pain receptors, especially in the eyes, forcing the eyelids to squeeze shut and tear uncontrollably.



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