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This report has been compiled at the request of the National Policing Lead on Self Defence Arrest and
Restraint (SDAR) to provide information on the similarities and differences between CS and PAVA
It is based on a previous comparative study published in 2004, which reviewed the two
approved chemical irritant solutions that were available at the time: CS in MIBK and PAVA in 50%
aqueous ethanol. Since the publication of the 2004 review, a
new solvent formulation for PAVA has been approved: PAVA in monopropylene glycol, ethanol and
The report details the technical differences between all three approved chemical irritant solutions, and
compares the operational experience of officers using the sprays via information collected from officers
who have used at least two of the approved sprays. Officers were asked to give a direct comparison
from their experience; therefore the data collected are purely subjective and opinion‐based.