Pepperspray vs Mace: What Is The Difference

02 January 2010 Categories: pepper spray

Pepper spray and mace are terms which are often used interchangeably and considered to be the same thing by many people. While pepper spray and mace are both used by police and as a defense strategy, they are actually quite different. Mace used to be more widely used, but over the past 15 years pepper spray has widely replaced mace because it has been proven to be more widely effective.

The first way pepper spray and mace are different is their classification. Mace is officially classified as an irritant and is quite comparable to tear gas. Mace mainly effects its victims by causing extreme pain, but does not have any other physical effects. On the other hand, pepper spray is considered an inflammatory agent and has much different effects on the victim. Pepper spray can cause inflammation of the capillaries within the eye which can lead to temporary blindness. Pepper spray will also cause nausea, loss of breath, and an immediate burning sensation.

Another way mace is different than pepper spray is the different effects the sprays have on individuals under the influence of drugs. Years ago police officers found that individuals who were enraged while under the influence of PCP could not be stopped or put down with the use of mace. This is because mace mainly just causes pain, which can not be felt by people who are under the influence of PCP. Pepper spray works by causing pain, but also physically incapacitates the victim to the point where they can not see or breathe. Drugs like PCP can not dilute these effects and the addict will be taken down when they are hit with pepper spray. The effects of pepper spray often last up to an hour allowing police plenty of time to apprehend the addict.

When purchasing pepper spray or mace, it is very important to read the labels of the product as the product’s brand name can be misleading. For individual use, the user should have a clear understanding of how to use the product so they don’t cause any accidents with the spray. Depending on the location, both pepper spray and mace may be a controlled substance.

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