Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Tessa Solomon-Lane

Reader 2

Melissa Coleman

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© 2022 Sylvie Wilson


Tear gas is currently used as a riot control agent by the police and federal agents of the government. Though it has been banned in many countries, its use remains legal in the United States. Discussion surrounding the use of tear gas in the United States has increased in the news and social justice discourse throughout 2020 as a result of the Black Lives Matter protests that have swept across the nation. City, state, and federal government officials in multiple cities have attempted to quell protests using tear gas via police and federal agents. Many individuals with ovaries who had contact with tear gas reported disruptions to their menstrual cycles, which only occurred after exposure. The presented research aims to question the link between tear gas and endocrine disruption, using a survey study to understand the perspectives of individuals who experienced physical disruptions to their menstrual cycles — indicating endocrine disruption — post exposure to tear gas. The implications of this survey study show the necessity of a continued exploration of the TRPA1 channel, the channel which tear gas acts upon, in order to understand the relationship between TRPA1 and the endocrine system. This study and the suggested studies it provides is a timely and necessary step in the understanding of tear gas and the protection of Americans experiencing its effects throughout the United States.