At some point last summer, protesters reported that Britta Torgrimson Ohelio, a nurse researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Health Research Center in Portland, experienced an abnormal menstrual cycle after being exposed to tear gas. It’s too much to match.
kindergarten teacher Told to Oregon Public Brodusting If she inhales a significant amount of gas at night, she will start her period the next morning.Other Portland residents share a story Of a period that lasted several weeks and unusual spotting.A trans-gender man described a sudden period of time against the hormones that prevented menstruation. Month Or Year.
Dr. Torgrimson-Ojerio decided to figure out whether these anecdotes were outliers or representative of more common phenomena. She surveyed about 2,200 adults who said they were exposed to tear gas in Portland last summer.so Research Published in the journal BMC Public Health this week, she reported that 899 of them (more than 54% of potential menstrual respondents) said they had experienced an abnormal menstrual cycle.
“I can’t say anything scientifically definitive about the causal relationship between these chemicals and menstrual irregularities, but in our study most people who had a menstrual cycle or uterus reported menstrual irregularities. I can assure you that you did. After reporting your exposure to tear gas. “
Downstream effects, such as those on childbirth, are unknown, but “this is a call for our actions to call on our scientific community to look at this issue,” she said.
Dr. Torgrimson-Ojerio was also interested in whether other problems had occurred for more than a few hours after being exposed to tear gas. She found that 80% of the survey participants had dyspnea, which is one of the most common complaints.
Kira Taylor, a professor of epidemiology and artificial health at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Conduct similar studies, Dr. Torgrimson-Ojerio’s study said it provided “some of the first solid evidence” that tear gas may be associated with menstrual disorders. It is also “the first study to document the long-term effects of tear gas exposure in large populations,” she said.
Sven Eric Jord, a professor of anesthesiology, pharmacology, and cancer biology at Duke University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study, praised the study.
Most of the studies police and government rely on to inform them about the safety of tear gas are “obsolete, often 50 to 70 years old, and have not been measured to modern toxicological approaches,” he said. Said. “Most of these studies were conducted by young healthy men in the police or military at the time, not by women, but by the general public on behalf of protesters.”
Dr. Torgrimson-Ojerio and her colleagues recruited survey participants in July and August through social media and links on the Oregon and Oregon Health Department websites.
Researchers asked participants to explain exactly how their physiology was affected after being exposed to tear gas. Increased seizures, abnormal spotting, and featureless, severe or long bleeding were the most common reactions.Number of people who usually do not have menstruation due to hormone therapy or hormone therapy age Unexpected bleeding and spotting were reported, said Dr. Torgrimson-Ojerio.
This study has its limits. It is not a random sample.
“People who feel their health is compromised by tear gas may be more likely to react than those who are exposed, but they didn’t feel such harmful effects,” Dr. Taylor said. Stated. “This means that some numbers may be exaggerated.”
Researchers were unable to verify their account because subjects were allowed to participate anonymously.
Nor can this study answer how or why tear gas contributes to menstrual irregularities, or to what extent other factors are involved. The authors acknowledge that, for example, high levels of stress and anxiety among protesters may also have contributed to the physical response.
“Pain, stress, dehydration, and exercise can play a role,” said Dr. Jordt. Alternatively, tear gas can act as an “endocrine disruptor” and interfere with normal hormonal function.
“The tear gas CS, which is sometimes used by police, is a chlorine compound that, when burned in the canisters used by police, produces additional chlorination by-products,” he said. “Exposure to chlorinated chemicals can affect menstrual health.”
He mentioned whether tear gas can be metabolized to cyanide to increase the menstrual cycle, and two additional areas of the role that traumatic events can play in changing menstrual cycles.
Allegations about tear gas and menstruation first surfaced more than a decade ago during the Arab Spring protests, Dr. Jordt said.
Chile in 2011 forbidden Post-study use of tear gas suggested that CS gas could cause miscarriage and harm infants. Three days later, Chilean police Lifting of the ban, Claimed that the type of tear gas they used was completely safe.
Hundreds of reported abnormal menstruations after exposure to tear gas, studies discover
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