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17 viduals' drug use, disease, or positional asphyxia. It was noted using autopsy reports can be biased because the reports are that the arresting officers reported that pepper spray was only usually nonspecific in nature. She cites as an example a study effective in 20% of these 63 cases. Toxicological information done by the ACLU of Southern California in 1995 that cited revealed that 62% of the 63 individuals had some drugs in pepper spray as the cause of death for all of the subjects in its their body. Studies that were done with individuals not on study. At the same time, a study done by law enforcement drugs demonstrated that pepper spray was effective. A 1999 (Granfield et al. 1994) in a similar time period concluded that study of 690 incidents concluded that pepper spray was effec- there was no link between pepper spray and the deaths. tive in 85% of them. The percentage dropped to 13% when individuals displayed behavior consistent with drug use. The Broadstock concludes that most of the seven studies did document also includes the results from a third study at the not provide details on the type of pepper spray used, its man- University of California, San Diego that had tested the effects ufacturer or strength, and whether it was used as recom- of pepper spray on healthy subjects by comparing their reac- mended. Therefore, it is possible that the adverse events tions with a placebo group. This study found that pepper reported in the studies might have been caused by improper spray did not compromise respiratory function even when use of the pepper spray. used in conjunction with a sitting or handcuffed position. Evaluating the pepper spray risks under real-world condi- BUS OPERATOR PERSPECTIVE tions is difficult because every situation is unique, the number Bruyere, D. and J. M. Gillet, National Operator Assault Sur- of in-custody deaths is very low, and it is impossible to repli- vey Results 2005, ATU Transit Operators. cate certain scenarios safely for testing purposes. Therefore, In 2005 an Assault Survey was undertaken by the ATU and the National Institute of Justice report states that it "cannot its Ottawa local 741 owing to member perceptions that "the prove that pepper spray will never be a contributing factor in issue of potential violence for operators in an uncontrolled the death of a subject resisting arrest." (The implications of environment is paramount" and that "it is an issue that demands the researcher's conclusions are that pepper spray or the gel analysis and the development of strategies to prevent acts of form of the same substance would be effective for bus opera- violence in the workplace for transit operators" (p. 5). The tors trying to stop an assault, but may not be that effective on objectives of the survey were to assess violence in the work- persons who are on drugs, and that the possibility of injury or place, outline how operators perceive violence in the daily death cannot be ruled out.) work environment, create an up-to-date document for leg- Broadstock, M., "What Is the Safety of `Pepper Spray' Use islative application to address transit worker safety, strengthen by Law Enforcement or Mental Health Service Staff?" lines of communication, focus resources to implement edu- New Zealand Health Technology Assessment Tech Brief cation and training programs, and create awareness of the risks Series, 1(2), Sep. 2002. in the occupation based on operator perceptions. The survey Broadstock examined studies published up to May 2002 on involved 1,468 operators at seven union locals in Canada. Of the topic of pepper spray use by law enforcement or mental these, 36% had experienced physical assault(s) and 55% had health service staff and had samples of at least 20 participants experienced verbal threats. Of the physical assaults, 16% with medium- and long-term adverse health effects. Broad- were not preceded by verbal threats. stock discovered that of the seven studies that fit her criteria, only three had been published in scientific and medical jour- In physical assaults, the following were contributing factors: nals and four were unpublished. Zollman et al. (2000) found corneal sensitivity and corneal erosions partially recovered 77%, passenger misconduct; after 1 h. All were single-dose exposures at a distance of 1.5 m, 60%, nonpayment of fares; and none required medical treatment. Broadstock notes that 51%, alcohol or drugs; and in actual cases the doses are often higher and are administered 11%, weapons. at closer distances. Two large studies were done by Brown et al. (2000) and Watson et al. (1996). All of the subjects in the In verbal assaults, contributing factors were the following: two studies required medical attention, with 7% to 9% of these subjects having significant adverse events, such as 80%, passenger misconduct; corneal abrasions and pulmonary toxicity. Broadstock con- 71%, nonpayment of fares; cludes that these outcomes may have resulted from pepper 50%, alcohol or drugs; and spray use or misuse, possibly in combination with other fac- 9%, weapons. tors. Stopford (1996) was the largest of the seven studies. The work involved a sample of 6,000 officers exposed to Forty-five percent of the responding drivers indicated that pepper spray. Medical treatment was required for a "small training was a concern; many requested additional training in but significant" proportion of cases. Eye problems, chest violence awareness and response and in self-defense tech- problems, and headaches persisting longer than 1 week were niques. What to do after an assault had taken place and how observed, although rarely. Broadstock notes that studies done to contact sources of support were also mentioned as desir-