MSNBC host Ali Velshi asserted on Monday that tear gas exposure is "uniquely different" when children are involved because it can force them to be hospitalized for up to a month.
Following the use of a tear gas-like chemical at the southern U.S. border on Sunday, Velshi took time to explain why the chemical agent had not been outlawed by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which banned its use in warfare.
"The convention, the chemical weapons convention, doesn’t cover domestic use of tear gas," Velshi observed before breaking down the different types of chemical agents.
"There’s OC gas which shares the main ingredients of pepper pray and CS gas known as tear gas," the MSNBC host said. "The name is a misnomer. It’s not gas at all. It’s an aerosol with droplets in the area. CS, coming into contact with the wet surfaces of a person’s eyes, their mouth, the ideas of their nose, skin if it’s breathing passages, the defenses kick into high gear to flush out the material and then that’s why it’s worse in a panic and breathing in heavily."
He added: "The result is heavy streams of tears, mucous and saliva work to clear the body of the droplets and as the person coughs or chokes on the spray, they wretch up fluids. Temporary blindness can occur."
But Velshi noted that the symptoms could become much more serious in infants and children.
"A 1989 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that if an infant were present at the same place they would suffer inflammation of breathing passages requiring a month of hospitalization," he remarked. "It’s uniquely different when children are involved. I understand that there are people who understand that there’s a reason to use it for crowd control."
"But this is why it’s difficult when there are children involved," Velshi concluded.
Watch the video below from MSNBC.