How to treat tear gas burns

How to treat teargas burns

A pillow, pad, or newspaper (whole & unopened) to cushion knees
Lots of one gallon jugs of milk
Clean towels
a pre-selected place out of the line of fire with signs (Tear Gas Aid Here)

Have the victim brought to your pre-selected safe place
Have the victim kneel on the pad, pillow or newspaper.
Have the victim raise their hands over their head, face up to the sky.
Stand behind the victim, feet on either side of their lower legs.
Place the jug of milk in their hands over their head with the mouth almost tipping down over their face
Put your hands over theirs on the side of the jug.
Slowly tip the jug for them to let the milk flow over their face.
Tell them to keep their eyes open, talk them through this.

Once the burning subsides, wait a bit before using the towel. Use it on their face first, residue can be transferred back if you try to dry their clothes with it.

Get them to a hospital or clinic ASAP.
Take pictures of any swelling, redness or rash.


If you use a spray bottle of Malox and water, have the victim hold their hands straight out at shoulder height. There’s some concern about Malox and water in the eyes, so be careful.  

Milk seems to be helpful according to folks from the Unoccupy movement.  Can’t speak to it myself, never used it.  

I have been teargassed, when I was in bootcamp for the Navy. Saw one of my company shipmates’ face swell up like a balloon and she had to be hospitalized.  The REALLY important thing to remember and stress is NOT TO RUB.  

The having the victim hold the jug gives them a sense of self-care, some control.  It also keeps their hands away from their face. Putting your hands over theirs lets them know they’ve got help, they’re not alone. It will also ensure they keep their hands away from their face. 

Kneeling will reduce the risk of stumbling and falling. It will also help when pouring milk.  

Document.  Document.  Document. Photograph, photograph, photograph.  Show the world! 





From the Archive: Middle Cascade, Yosemite Falls


Image captured November 15, 2005. Converted to B&W November 15, 2014. 

This is from deep in the archives, my very first year in Yosemite National Park.  While it was a bit cool, it was a pleasant autumn day when I made the climb to Oh My Gosh Point on the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail for this image.