In response to the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) repeated use of Hexachloroethane (HC) munitions smoke grenades as weapons against protesters in Portland, we have begun studying the impacts of HC and the Zinc Chloride gas it creates on human and environmental health.

Two panel image, left half is a photo of a green grenade canister with yellow writing that says CM Military Style Maximum Smoke HC Defense Technology with a halo effect around the can. right half is info: Hexachloroethance (HC) Smoke. Produces DEADLY Zinc Chloride gas, one grenade can kill 9 people, highly corrosive lung and skin irritant, acute delayed metal fume fever, carinogentic, defoliates trees, kills fish and other wildlife, bioaccumulates, has GHS symols for irritant, toxic, and environemtal toxin. us department of homeland security seplyed at least 25 grenades in the second half of  july in portland or


Top US Chemical Weapons Company Selling Lethal Smoke as Non-Hazardous
October 14, 2021 in The Equation

Quantifying use of lethal ZnCl2 on Black Lives Matter demonstrators by United States Homeland Security
September 30, 2020 on Zenodo

Media Outreach

Three canisters of HC stand in the foreground of the image, the background yields three other canisters of various chemical agents. The HC canisters are cylindrical with riveted tops resembling a paint can lid. Their markings have burned away with the heat of their ignition. Metal along the top has melted, peeled and been blown outwards. Their rough rounded edges border holes into the center of the canister. Chemical reactions have changed the color of the metal to dark grey, rust brown, and a navy blue. The canisters are dented from impact and appear to have lost any smoothness they may have once possessed.
Three Used HC Grenades - JL Simonis 2020

Media Coverage

  • What Tear Gas Does To Fish. 2020-09-23. B. Owens. Hakai Magazine
  • Federal Agents Used Toxic Chemical Smoke Grenades in Portland. 2020-10-10. S. Lerner. The Intercept.
  • “Highly Toxic” Smoke Grenades Deployed at Portland Protests. 2020-10-20. C. Vaughn. Portland Tribune and KOIN.
  • Scientists Identified a Green, Poisonous Gas Used By Federal Agents on Portland Protesters. 2020-12-06. L. Peskoe-Yang. Future Human
  • Feds used toxic smoke grenades during summer protests in Portland, researcher finds 2021-01-19. K. Williams. The Oregonian and The Columbian.
  • Police deployed potentially lethal chemicals during black lives matter protests. 2021-02-11. L. Jadeed. Truthout and Salon.

This work is funded by DAPPER Stats.