Doctors and environmental organizations have urged the Hong Kong Police Force to disclose the components used in the blue dye sprayed by water cannons to disperse protesters after a number of people complained about burning pain on their skin.
Greenpeace Hong Kong said there was a chance that the blue dye might contain toxic solutions and thet tests are being conducted.
The non-government organization said on Facebook that they had received a number of public enquiries over the “color water” as those exposed have felt burning pain, swelling and experienced coughing for a few days.
The initial lab test result showed that the “color-water” contained color pigments and adhesives.
Though the test has yet to analyze all components, the group studied papers from the Legislative Council, international journal, experts comments and interviews with people who were dyed by the blue water, they presumed that a toxic tearing substance, including a pelargonic acid vanillylamide solution, or CN (chloroacetophenone) and CS (2-xhlorobenzylidene malononitrile) were in the colored water.
According to a medical journal, pelargonic acid vanillylamide solution could cause immediate and serious harm to the body, similar to the effects of pepper spray.
The colored water could be mixed with CN and CS, which can seriously harm the skin, according to the Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents. If people have exposed themselves to a high dosage of the solutions, the allergy could last four weeks.
The environment group urged the police to disclose the components and to increase transparency when they deploy the weapons.
Mohan Chugani, a former chairman of the Indian Association who was hit by the blue dye in front of the Kowloon Mosque in Tsim Sha Tsui last Sunday, said his body felt like it was on fire. His left eye was also injured.
Chugani called his doctor at private Baptist Hospital but was told that he should seek medical treatment in a public hospital because their medical staff at the emergency room did not know the components of the dyed water.
The 73-year-old man was sent to public Queen Elizabeth Hospital for medical treatment after having a thorough wash.
Chugani said he made complaints to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor when she called him to apologize for what had happened.
He urged the police to disclose the components in the water to all hospitals in Hong Kong so that medical staff will know how to treat patients.
Meanwhile, a reporter from Asia Times is still suffering red eyes five days after he worked at the protest site in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The reporter said he wore protective gear at that time when the water cannon fired the blue dye and that. he was not directly hit by the water.
When the water cannon was removed, he took off his goggles. He did not feel any pain at that moment but when he rinsed his eyes with water, he experienced a light burning sensation around his eyes.
Both private and public hospitals staff said they did not receive any information from the police force or from the Department of Health regarding the components of the dyed water from the water cannon, Apple Daily reported.
The police force said on Friday that water fired by the water cannon is mixed with non-toxic color pigments which are not harmful to the human body. They used it merely to track down protesters, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.
They said people who get in touch with tearing solutions or pepper spray would be feeling unwell for a short period of time, but if they wash it with water in a well-ventilated area, they should feel better in 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong protesters found a new way by staging aq “walk to work” protest across different districts of Hong Kong.
Workers, office ladies in high heels or men in suits wore face masks to defy the mask ban law. They chanted slogans such as “five demands, not one less” and “Hong Kong people resist,” as streams of people walked along the sidewalks.
The protest idea came from an online forum calling on people to walk to their offices in business districts like Central, Sheung Wan, Kowloon Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Protesters who joined the call said they wanted to include protests into daily life and didn’t mind waking up earlier or taking a longer route to work.
They said they will continue to support the protest and press the government to respond to their demands.