There is a reason chemical weapons like tear gas are banned in international warfare: The effects of the gases can be permanent in some cases, causing unnecessary suffering that lasts a lifetime for some people. That is the same scenario that protesters in the United States today could be faced with, as police departments and government officers continue to use this internationally-banned substance on our own people. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains what’s happening.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced