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Is it possible to create a protest gas that sedates and lasts a long time?

  1. Aug 22, 2015 #1
    Is it possible to create a protest gas that sedates and lasts for a very long period but has a limit on its severity, no matter how long exposed? If so, may you please elaborate? This is for fiction I'm working on.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2015 #2

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    No.
     
  4. Aug 22, 2015 #3

    SteamKing

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    What exactly is a "protest gas"?
     
  5. Aug 22, 2015 #4

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    "Riot control."
     
  6. Aug 22, 2015 #5

    HallsofIvy

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    The simple fact that a person is not able to control his or her body functions for a "very long period" pretty much guarantees that there will be problems!
     
  7. Aug 24, 2015 #6

    ohwilleke

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    Historically, one of the big problems with gas weapons of this kind, famously in recent history in a Russian auditorium in which large numbers of people were kept as hostages by Chechen rebels gas was used for the kind of purpose contemplated and many people died, is that there is considerable variation in individual response to a given dose of the gas, and there is also considerable variation in the amount of gas to which particular target individuals in a group are exposed due to location and countermeasures taken (e.g. breathing through a wet cloth or a gas mask). One must also face trade offs between a fast acting agent and one that is too strong to linger in the vicinity of people for too long without killing them.

    An amount necessary to stop everyone is almost always enough to kill some foreseeable targets of such a gas, when a crowd may include everyone from hardy, large young men to frail elderly people and mothers with babies to people with asthma and various allergies. Any sedative that has general body effect is going to be too strong for some, and too weak for others, and indefinite suppression of bodily function with a sedative is pretty much always an unhealthy thing. Also any drug that isn't removed from a person's system by normal metabolic processes is probably a poison.

    One can imagine a gas that is dosed to affect a small number of healthy young men in a fairly confined space for an hour or two that might be used, for example, in a particular wing of a prison during a riot, where perfection isn't absolutely necessary, any hostages are likely to be healthy adults, and the alternatives would be worse.

    Something like the tranquilizer darts used in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, might be more attractive, because it would allow for deliver that is more precisely dosed (and hence easier to make fast acting without impairing non-lethality), doesn't affect innocent third parties who might be more vulnerable, is less amenable to countermeasures, and is easier to teach operators already familiar with using firearms to use.

    Suspending disbelief to imagine that this would be possible, it would need to target some part of the body where body size and health doesn't impact effect, and where respiration wouldn't be impaired. For example, you'd want a highly locus specific chemical or parasite that would attach to a specific brain organ receptor and could cross the brain-blood barrier, and then degrade after perhaps a few hours or less (or after administration of an antidote if that came sooner) that is effective in very low doses.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2015 #7
    THC? It'd be effective in large doses, last for an hour or so, and isn't toxic. I'm not sure how concentrated it'd have to be if dispersed like tear gas though, and a small dose of it will barely do anything to someone with even a little tolerance. It wouldn't knock anyone out, but would certainly calm everyone down, I've never met an angry pothead in my life.

    It'd also be kinda funny watching a bunch of stoned idiots looting bags of Cheetos and Mountain Dew :P

    Third parties would get high, but other than that be okay. It would not be effective in a hostage situation though, it'd make hostage takers paranoid and more likely to do something stupid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  9. Aug 27, 2015 #8
    Sedate? Not specially - depressants are too easy to overdose. And it is a matter of their mechanism of action on central nervous system, which quickly would turn off also some vital systems like breathing.

    On the other hand hallucinogens are harder to overdose. Like LSD, there the lethal dose is somewhere around 1000 times stronger than default dosage.

    http://smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1477#comic
     
  10. Aug 27, 2015 #9

    berkeman

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    Although it's a controversial subject because of the secrecy of the Russian Special Forces, the most likely cause of those civilian deaths was asphyxiation due to compromised airways. If a team had swept through the sleeping crowd right away and put the civilians in the "Recovery Position", most likely most of them would have survived.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-20067384

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_position

    .
     
  11. Aug 27, 2015 #10
    An aplication of the old and tried nitroux oxide gas should calm the angry mob and open them up to suggestion.
    A possible side effect is that they may decide to mobilize again the next day, so they could be gased and have another free officially sanctioned 'nitrous oxide party' .
     
  12. Aug 28, 2015 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    Nitrous oxide requires a relatively high dose, IIRC 70% N2O 30% O2 to be effective. On my phone atm so I'm having to do this off the top of my head but I think N2O has a density of around 2g/L. If you have a crowd filling a street ten metres wide, ten meters long and some are nearly two metres talk that's 2e5L litres total. At 70% dose you therefore need 140kg of N2O. And that's assuming you can perfectly disperse it without it dispersing. Also given its weight it would skink quite quickly in normal atmosphere. Final nail in the coffin; it has a half life of 5 minutes and people generally come around and recover very quickly.
     
  13. Aug 30, 2015 #12

    Evo

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    This topic is not appropriate here. If you wish to say it's for writing, then you need to follow the rules for that forum and post in that forum. This forum is for reviewing books and movies, not for speculation outside of our forum guidelines.

    Members (and mentors) please pay attention to which forum this is and report, not reply.
     
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