Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wasp Spray vs. Pepper Spray

I recently received the following email from a family member:

I have a friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area who
was concerned about someone going into the office on Monday to rob them
when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police
department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray they have to get too close to you and could overpower you.

The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the
hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would.
She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection.

My immediate thoughts while reading this email were as follows:

  1. Police only recommend products for which they have been trained.
  2. Bug sprays are poisons and are designed to KILL bugs.
  3. Products not tested for humans can lead to debilitating effects to humans.

I recently attended a Citizens Police Academy in my local community. The major goal of a Citizens' Police Academy is to increase understanding between citizens and their Police Department's operations. The academy allows a citizen to ride-along with a Police Officer during the term of the academy. The ride-along gives a citizen the opportunity to experience the daily routine of a Police Officer and to ask questions regarding police life. Several times I asked for recommendations on different products from my ride-along officer. Most of the time, the officer responded, "I am not familiar with the effects of that product and cannot make any recommendations."

The Police do not want to recommend a product unless the product has been tested and certified through their Police Department. The obvious reason for this is that they are considered an authority and can be held liable for making recommendations of products that can permanently harm an individual. This is one of the major reasons for Police departments to use a TASERR over a gun to stop a criminal. A gun can mame or kill a person while a TASERR controls the person with no after affect. By using a non-lethal weapon, the Police considerably reduce their liability.

Bug sprays are POISONS and severe irritants. Ask yourself, "Would I rather ingest poison or eat a pepper that is fifteen times hotter than the Habanero pepper? While the obvious answer is, "I would rather not do either", if given a choice you would more than likely opt for the pepper. The reason is that even though neither one of them is desirable, poisons can permanently mame or worse, kill you.

I decided to follow up my thoughts with some research. I found that snopes had an article regarding the email that I received called, "A can of wasp spray is a preferable alternative to pepper spray for protection against assailants." Basically the article points out the following information:

  1. The active ingredient in most wasp sprays are pyrethrins. Wasp sprays are not formulated to be used directly on human beings and their safety and effectiveness have not been sufficiently tested. The toxic effects of pyrethrin could potentially be much more harmful than expected.
  2. Many jurisdictions prohibit the use of any sprays for self-defense other than a pepper spray. Most spray insecticides include warnings stating that "It is a violdation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."

Wasp sprays have active ingredients derived from nature, according to research of Pyrethrin from Cornell University. Severe poisoning from pyrethrin have been reported in infants. Infants are not able to efficiently break down pyrethrum. Animals exposed to toxic amounts may also experience symptoms of tremors, convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. Pyrethrin, however, decomposes quickly as compared to Capsaicin, the active ingredient in pepper spray. The effectiveness of the Pepper Spray will last longer than the Wasp Spray. Pyrethrin is also extremely toxic to aquatic life especially in locations where there are warmer water temperatures.

I have taken the following excerpt from an article by The Center for Public Integrity on the regarding Pyrethrin:

Human health problems from pyrethrins account for more adverse reports than from any other class of pesticides, about one-quarter of all fatal, major and moderate human reactions in the U.S. in 2007. Reactions include skin irritation, an asthmatic attack and 50 fatalities.

Among the reactions cited:

  • The case of two-and-a-half-year-old Amber Nickol McKeown who was treated with Osco Lice Treatment Shampoo for head lice.

    The girl's chest turned red, she labored to breathe, her skin peeled off in clumps. When the hospital staff saw burns over 60 percent of her body she was in respiratory distress. Within 72 hours of her bath, she died. An autopsy showed her death was triggered by exposure to pyrethrin.

  • A 37-year-old woman who died after she gave her ...
  • A 48-year-old woman who died after using a bug spray.

The article goes on to state:

But the EPA has yet to require the stricter warning labels. Instead it warns people to stay out of rooms where aerosol bug spray has just been used.
The EPA doesn't specify whether the poisonings came from ingestion, inhalation or direct skin contact. The EPA already considers permethrin, a popular pyrethroid, a "likely carcinogen" through oral exposure.

The InjuryBoard is a community of attorneys, media professionals, safety industry experts, and local activists who are committed to making a difference by helping families stay safe and avoid injury.

Actually a wasp spray is the last product that you want to use against a perpetrator. If an assailant were to take the wasp spray from you and had a lighter, the highly flammable wasp spray will turn into a blow torch.

Pepper sprays come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can shoot up to twenty feet away and are non-toxic.

Photographed above to the right, you will observe a container than looks like a bug fogger or small fire extinguisher. This container can easily sit in the open without detection of being a highly potent pepper spray. The center photograph is the "jogging weights" pepper spray. Not only can you leave them on your desk, you can also use them as a defense mechanism while out on your lunch break. To the far right is a MACER Pepper Gun. While this "gun" can give the impression of a real gun and is best concealed on a desk, it will certainly be a lot more intimidating to a crook than a can of wasp spray.

What makes the pepper spray a more effective defense tool is that the spray contains identifying dye. If the assailant is able to get out of the room, an identifying dye will keep the criminal marked for a week.

A better alternative to using a spray indoors would be a TASERR or Telescopic Stun Baton self-defense weapon. A TASERR has a range of 15' and leaves no irritating mist in the air. Another debilitating non-lethal and non-irritating weapon is a Stun Baton. Even though a Stun Baton has a shorter range, you can be assured that no one will come near you when you pull that out of your desk.

As the old adage goes, "Believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see." My new saying is, "Believe nothing what you hear unless you can back it up with fact." In any case, whatever you decide to use, it is important to stay protected. You can never have too much personal protection.

Remy Lorenz
Managing Director
Personal Protection 4U, LLC

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One Blow Takes Two Lives

Imagine working an evening job to help out with the family expenses in order to be home with your young children during the day while your husband is away at work. Now imagine being just two weeks from giving birth to your third child. With that in mind, now just imagine that your life comes to a brutal end. This is something Jenna Nielsen's husband, parents, brother and young children could never have imagined would happen to her.

Jenna, 22 years of age, a young mother of two young boys, Schyler 3 and 11-month old Kaiden never made it home one night from her job. Jenna worked a part-time job when her life came to a horrific end on June 14, 2007.

She just finished loading the vending machine with USA Today newspapers at the AmeriKing Food Mart convenient store across from the Farmer's Market in Raleigh, North Carolina around 3:30 am. Jenna was attacked when she started heading back to her car. Neither Jenna or the 8-1/2 month old baby inside of her survived the knife attack.

Jenna's body was found behind the AmeriKing convenient store. Her vehicle was found abandoned on Lake Wheeler Road across the street at the Exxon gas station.

Robbery is not considered to be the motive as Jenna's purse and car keys were still inside her Honda Civic. It is speculated that Jenna fought back from a sexual assualt. Jenna's husband Tim believes that someone was aware of his wife's news route and this was not a random attack.

The attacker is described as a short, slightly built man - 5'-3", 120 pounds and possibly Hispanic. It is believed that he is in his late teens or early 20s with long black hair that was pulled back into a long ponytail.

There is a $15,000 reward offered for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for this murder. Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to call the Raleigh Police Department at (919) 227-6220. A website called has been set up to keep this senseless act alive. If you have any information about this case, just imagine this person was a member of your family. What would you do?

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Want $100k?-Find Bob

It is an easy way to make $100,000 if you have the right skills. All that you need to do is find Bob or Robert William Fisher.

You see, Bob is a nice guy, well at least that is what his neighbors thought. Bob loved to fish. He doted on his children. Bob even dedicated himself to a career of helping other people, originally as a firefighter and later as a surgical catheter technician and respiratory therapist.

Bob however, was not such a nice person to his wife Mary. After taking Bob back after the first affair, Mary, 38, had enough of Bob after learning of the second affair. I guess she was planning to leave Bob because the neighbors heard a lot of yelling from the house that night before everything went wrong.

People close to Bob said he was a loner and in their opinion a control freak. They said that Bob could not stand the thought of someone else raising his kids. Therefore, it looks as though Bob took it into his own control to keep anyone from raising his kids. On April 10, 2001, Bob shot his wife Mary in the head in their Scottsdale, Arizona home. He then hunted down his children Brittney, 12 and Bobby, 10 who were also home at the time, and slit their throats.

The Police Investigators believe that Bob put an accelerant on his family's bodies. It appears that Bob lit a candle down the hallway after opening a gas line to the heater in the home. This is what authorities believe caused the house to explode. There was very little left to Mary, Brittney, and Bobby after the fire and certainly nothing left of Bob. Robert William Fisher vanished that night without a trace and has not been seen since.

Even though Bob has had no prior record, 8 years after the murders, he is still the only suspect in this case. The F.B.I. wants Robert William Fisher for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, three counts of first-degree murder and arson of an occupied structure.

So, all you have to do is find Bob, dead or alive and receive up to $100,000. Then, call the F.B.I. at 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324) to claim your reward.

Here are some vitals that may help you find Bob:
Date of Birth: April 13, 1961
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York

Race: Caucasian
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Brown
Build: Medium
Height: 6'-0"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Nationality: American

Scars & distinguishing marks: Surgical scars on lower back, Gold crown on his upper left first bicuspid tooth.

Remarks: Avid outdoorsman, hunter, and angler. Believed to be in possession of several weapons, including a high-powered rifle. May be armed and dangerous. Known to chew tobacco heavily. Has ties to New Mexico and Florida. He may walk with an exaggerated erect posture due to lower back surgery.

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