Recently, in a civil action filed against the ODRC by a prisoner who was assaulted by staff here at WCI, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office disclosed a number of documents. Included in that discovery was the “Safety Data Sheets” for the pepper spray used by ODRC staff. Since this prisoner was assaulted with pepper spray, he’s entitled to the Safety Data Sheet on this chemical spray.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Safety Data Sheets are the documents put out by the manufacturer of a product, giving you the A to Z about the product’s proper use and any potential hazards the product might pose.
The Safety Data Sheet related to the pepper spray used by Ohio prison guards is ten pages long, so I’m just going to hit the highlights. I’ve already mailed out a copy of this thing to friends so, through a little luck and the magic of the interweb, that Safety Data Sheet will be scanned and posted in its entirety at seanswain.org.
So, here we go.
The chemical that Ohio prison guards use as pepper spray is called Oleoresin Capsicum, or o.c. spray.
According to the Safety Data Sheets put out by the manufacturer, you are advised to “obtain special instructions” before using o.c. spray and not handle it until “all safety precautions” are “read and understood.” Anyone using o.c. spray should use “personal protective equipment.” The manufacturer recommends chemcial splash goggls, suitable protective clothing, and “respiratory protection.” Users should wear “eye/face protection” and “use only outdoors…”
This is the stuff that guards here routinely spray directly in prisoners’ eyes while neither guards nor prisoners wear any of that protective equipment. There’s a prisoner in the block with me right now, Brandon Hoffman, who was sprayed in the face months ago for not hanging up a phone fast enough and he still has visible burns on his eyelids.
Anyway, back to the Safety Data Sheets on this chemical nightmare…
The Safety Data Sheets advise that, if exposed to o.c. spray, you should get “medical attention.” If sprayed in the eyes, you should rinse your eyes “cautiously” with water for several minutes. If skin is exposed to o.c. spray, you should wash with soap and water for at least 15 minutes. If the spray is inhaled, you should remove the “victim”– yes, the Safety Data Sheet refers to the subject sprayed by their product as a “victim” –you should remove the “victim” to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. The manufacturer advises that “artificial respiration” may be necessary.
Artificial respiration. You may have to do mouth-to-mouth to keep the victim alive after you use this stuff.
Of course, Ohio prison guards do none of this. After prisoners get sprayed directly in the eyes, they get cuffed and marched to medical where the nurse fills out paperwork and no water is ever applied to the face or eyes of the prisoner. The prisoner is then marched to a holding cage in seg that is the size of a phone booth, deprived of water for maybe hours.
So, the instructions from the manufacturer are never followed.
But let’s look at what we can expect the consequences to be in the happy rainbow and bunny-rabbit world where these safety protocols are followed…
According to the manufacturer’s “hazard statements,” o.c. spray causes skin irritation, serious eye irritation, drowsiness or dizziness, cancer, and maybe genetic defects.
I repeat: cancer and genetic defects.
The manufacturer warns the user, the State of Ohio, that this stuff causes cancer and perhaps genetic defects.
It is a category 3 for toxicity to a specific organ after one exposure; a category 2 for corrosion irritation and serious eye damage. It is a category 2 for genetic defects, and it is– get this –a category 1A for causing cancer.
And that’s when you follow the instructions. Imagine what it is when you sit for hours with this chemical death eating your face off.
On page six of the Data Sheet, it appears the manufacturer provides the threshholds from its own testing on the amounts of this o.c. spray that were required to kill a rat– “oral,” “dermal,” and “inhalation.” In paranthesis next to each amount is the word “rat.” Another chemical was apparently used on rats and rabbits.
According to this Data Sheet, if I were a lab rat, I’d be dead by now.
This stuff is so incredibly evil, it has to be placed in special containers for disposal. Under a subheading of “Ecotoxicity,” the manufacturer includes the phrase, “Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects…”
Tht means the great and noble souls attempting to rehabilitate me and inspire in me a newfound respect for human life can spray me in the eyes with this cancer cocktail and leave me burning for hours in a cage the size of a phone booth, but, whatever they do, they don’t want to expose their goldfish. Mr. Bubbles would not like this.
The fact is, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is deliberately waging a deadly, murderous campaign of chemical warfare against the defenseless captives in its mismanaged care– spraying known cancer-causing agents on a regular basis, one that possibly causes birth defects– with absolutely no regard for the long-term social, ecological, or health effects. These are chemical experiments that would make Adolf Eichmann jealous.
These monsters call me a criminal?
Who knows? This stuff might be the same chemical the pigs spray at protesters.
Anyone who seeks more information from the manufacturer can contact them directly:
1922 26th St. NE
Canton, Ohio 44705
Phone: (330) 452-4928
fax: (330) 452-3318
emergency telephone 1-800-535-5053
And again, this contact information is for folks who want to learn more, not for folks who want to burn this lab to the ground. I would never propose that anyone should burn this lab to the ground.
This is Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain from Warren Corruptional in Lebanon, Ohio. If you’e listening, you ARE the resistance…
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