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CS

CS, chemical compound (orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile) used in riot control and, by the military, as a harassing agent. The compound is dispersed as an aerosol or as a finely divided powder. Exposure to CS causes intense pain in the eyes and upper respiratory tract; the pain spreads to the lungs and gives the sensation of suffocation. In humid weather CS may cause severe blistering of the skin. Heavy exposure to the compound may cause serious lung damage, resulting in death. Nonetheless, CS is less toxic than many other tear gases. CS was first synthesized in the 1920s by Ben Corson and Roger Stoughton; the compound's name is derived from their initials.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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