CS Gas and Contact Lenses

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by 2bish, Feb 23, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Just began wearing some contact lenses, and been wondering are you allowed to wear them in the gas chamber? Had enough of wearing glasses when doing NBC drills etc. Have been asking around but can't find anyone who has tried wearing them when CS is flying around.

  2. No you can't wear them as the particle size etc continue PAM 9.... same for the CBRN trained Police as Military. I have and still do wear them however when conducting chamber drills... but I know my respirator works and I know i wont be taking it off. I do though remove them if I have to demonstrate any drills.
  3. As a rule of thumb NO

    Frist thing in the NBC chamber brief is that it states you should remove contact lenses, also on that fact - CS is a dust of types (small particules) that can get behind the contact lense & will cause extreme pain probably. so the offical answer to the question is No which may be why people have not tried it 2bish.

    I hve only done the Assistance course so a full DNBC insturctor may give you a better clue
  4. it is advised by NBC instructors not to wear lenses in the chamber as cs gas is designed to attack all soft tissue including the eys nose and throat
    cs gas irritates the eyes especialy if rubbed
    if lenses are worn it causes a greater need to touch the eyes thus causing more irritation

    there for it is in the saftey breif before entering the chamber that lenses must be removed and glases worn
    sorry mate
  5. Also, the CS may penetrate into gas-permeable lenses, so you end up with a persistent non-persistent agent (sorry, training aid).
  6. CS gas just loves water - it's extremely hydrophilic. It irritates because moist things absorb it (mouth, nose, the face of the recruit you laughingly told to "wash it off with some water"). Soft and Gas Permeable lenses contain water; soft lenses are about 70% water. The water absorbs the CS, and presto! Irritant city. It's why water cannon + CS is such fun :) Wet the rioters down, then gas them for maximum effect....

    As a lens wearer, I did all my drills with my eyes shut (as you would) and was bloody careful with making sure I exhaled hard on refitting the respirator before reopening them. This worked in even the most.... enthusiastic... strengths of CS in the chamber. The only thing I had to avoid was "open eyes, state name rank and number, exit chamber" and I was OK - walk towards the door was OK (if it was daylight outside), aim for the bright bit through your eyelids :) :)
  7. You are forbidden from wearing Contact lenses in the chamber for the above reasons. It is a safety regulation and non negotiable and providing your instructor warns you as part of the safety brief, any damage to your eyes would be on your own head.
    If you are wearing them for reasons of vanity, the army provides an alluring selection of respirator lenses although after a spell in the chamber you may feel that you should have gone to Specsavers.
  8. Ahhhhh yes. The Regular Army may well provide an alluring... except that they were not a common sight in our TA unit. Given that I've been away from RD for five years now, things may have changed... but I doubt it.

    Ironically, I went through the painful rigmarole of getting respirator specs for my S6 respirator because it was the Cold War, and Der Tag seemed somwehat more likely (still got them/it somewhere, I think) but never managed to sort them out for my S10.
  9. Go on wear them, we CBRN Instructors don't get many laughs.

    Seriously, I would rather get commissioned than wear contacts in CS environment.
  10. hi guys
    are you talking about instructors or just general basic training? I wear contacts, and would be wearing 30 days continuous wear contacts, seeing as you already have a respirator on, are you required to take it off? The reason I ask is 30 day continuous contacts are not the sort you throw away and not the sort you can leave in liquid, so would be stuck as to my options
  11. I heard about these new (silicon I believe ? ?) lenses that are completely gas permeable. Probably the ones Jack is on about, as you can leave them in for much longer as air can pass through. I asked the optician and he said he thought they'd be ok. FFS though its just not worth it is it?
  12. hi jim
    yes they do let up to 6 times more air into your eyes then normal, so can be worn while you awake and asleep with no problems at all. Every month (30 days) you just take them out and put in a new pair, they do cost a bit, about 80 pound for 6 months (6 pairs) but you can sleep in them!!!
  13. In our army wearing contact lenses in the CS chamber is stricktly forbidden. From what i've been told is that CS can cause the lenses to burn into your cornea with all imaginable results.
    Therefore i always take them out when i have to do CS drills,because we always have to take our respirator off for about 10 seconds and then put it on again(but i guess these drills are pretty much the same in any military).

    cheers , C
  14. hi cloggie
    thanks for that, will look into storage alternatives for contacts
  15. I wear contacts only in a social setting.

    Certainly not in the chamber for all the above reasons. Glasses aren't worn in resis anymore surely.

    I also don't wear them in work, I work with batteries a fair bit and the last thing you need is a melty contact in your eye (although obviously I wear all the normall PPE).

    Edit to add

    Is looking good worth your sight you vane lot? :?