Friday, January 22, 2010

January Safety Tip

I thought you all might find this a bit interesting. I was sent an email this month about using Wasp Spray as a way to defend yourself. No joke!

At first, I thought about deleting the email, but then I thought why not check this out and see if it is true. So I went to Snopes.com to see what they had to say about this email being sent to millions around the nation and mostly likely the world. Well here is what I found.

The email about using wasp spray as an alternative to pepper spray started around May 2009. However, in February 2009 ABC news channel 13 in Toledo, Ohio did a report on this very same subject. You can watch the news report at http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=news/local&id=6650350.

In the report, ABC news interviews Val Glinka, a teacher of self-defense. He has been teaching students at Sylvania Southview High School for decades and suggests putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door.

Glinka says during the report, "This is better than anything I can teach them."
Glinka also considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The reason? These cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet. Glinka also said in the report, "Spray the culprit in the eyes". Something I think most of us would already do, but it's a tip he's given to students for decades.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t really believe I would find the email I got about using wasp spray to be true. However, it seems this is a good safety tip and one everyone should know about. But there are some draw backs to this safety tip that I also need to share with you I only found by reading up on it at Snopes.com.

The one thing not shared in the news report with ABC is wasp spray has been advised against by some police departments and state penal codes. Many are against it for two reasons.

1. The active ingredient in most wasp sprays are pyrethrins, a compound derived from a plant, which penetrate the nervous systems of insects and typically kills them. Wasp sprays are not formulated to be used for self-defense or on humans in any form. This means safety measures haven’t been tested for the effectiveness in self-defense. Plus the toxic effects of pyrethrin could be much more harmful than expected.

2. Many jurisdictions specifically prohibit the use of any self-defense sprays other than ones tested and approved for such purposes. For example if you live in Michigan, the penal code only allows reasonable use of self-defense spays or foams other than pepper spray. Wasp spray is not one of these recognized by the Michigan penal code.

The biggest thing that stood out to me when reading up on using wasp spray vs. pepper spray was the former can be dispensed with more accuracy and over a greater distance. Well this isn’t entirely true. There are some pepper sprays you can purchase with a reach of 8 feet up to 25 feet in distance. There are even some sprayers with different spray patterns such as a cone spray or ones that produce a fog, which cover a larger area.

Overall, I don’t think it would be a bad idea to have a can of wasp spray handy just in case. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

For those who want to read more about what Snopes.com has to say here is the link. They even have a copy of the email I received. http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/waspspray.asp

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