Pepper Spray 101 - What Determines Pepper Spray Strength

Today we’re here to talk about one of the most confusing facts regarding pepper spray. What actually determines the strength – is it oleoresin capsicum percentages? Scoville heat units or major capscinoids? Often times on packaging of pepper spray you’ll see these very large percentages that say maximum strength. We’ve seen them as high as 18% oleoresin capsicum. But what actually is that?

Oleoresin capsicum (or OC) actually only measures the amount of pepper in the formula so it’s not an accurate indicator, because we care about the overall formula. Then you’ll see Scoville heat units claims. For example you’ll see SHU as high as 5 million, 5.3 million but then you’ll see the oleoresin capsicum percentage is around 2%. So in fact you’re only using 2% of 5.3 million – that’s what comes into contact with the attackers face. Manufactures don’t talk about the net Scoville heat units of the entire formulation they talk about the Scoville heat units of the raw pepper and that’s why that is not accurate.

So let’s identify what actually is the true indicator of pepper spray strength. According to the Environmental Protection Agency major capsaicinoids are the heat bearing pain producing components which provide the strength to pepper spray. Typically you’ll see them from 0.3 major capsaicinoids to up to 1.33 major capsaicinoids for your law enforcement and consumer type pepper sprays. Fact of the matter is, most consumer pepper sprays are only around 0.7 major capsaicinoids some are quite a bit lower than that at 0.3% 0.7%. Unfortunately if you’re engaged with somebody under the influence of drugs, alcohol, emotionally disturbed really goal oriented, those lower heat level sprays, those lower major capsaicinoids sprays are not going to be enough to provide protection against that type of an attacker.

The SABRE Red product measuring 1.33 major capsaicinoids is the industry max and the number one brand used By law enforcement globally. SABRE provides the same strength to consumers as it does the law enforcement to give you and your family the best opportunity to escape an attacker. So when determining which pepper spray to purchase to maximize the safety for yourself or your family members look for major capsaicinoids. Do not be fooled by Scoville heat units or high oleoresin capsicum percentages. They do not indicate pepper spray strength and you need stopping power when you’re faced with a dangerous threat.

SABRE’s Pepper Spray 101 series is part of our commitment to safety.

SABRE is the world’s largest pepper spray manufacturer, providing police-strength protection to consumers and law enforcement alike, all across the globe. For over 40 years, Sabre has been at the forefront in innovations in the personal safety category. It is how we have become the #1 trusted Pepper Spray trusted by police and consumers worldwide.

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