While many areas do not regulate the sale or use of pepper spray, some countries and states prohibit its usage against humans, others allow people at least eighteen years of age, and others permit it solely for usage against dangerous animals.
PAVA is commercially available in two forms,Captor I and Captor II. Captor I contains 0.3% PAVA with a solvent of equal parts ethanol and water.Captor II contains 0.3% PAVA with propylene glycol,water, and ethanol (Hilmas et al., 2009).
PAVA spray is dispensed from a hand-held canister in a liquid stream. The propellant is nitrogen. PAVA is significantly more potent than CS. The liquid stream is a spray pattern and has a maximum effective range of up to 4 meters. Maximum accuracy, however, will be achieved over a distance of 1.25 - 2 meters. PAVA primarily affects the eyes causing closure and severe pain.
In order for PAVA to be effective, it must get into the eyes. The pain to the eyes is reported to be higher than that caused by CS. The effects are immediate but will subside 15–20 min after exposure to fresh air. The effectiveness of PAVA is not guaranteed, however, against those under the influence of alcohol and the Smith et al. study mentions a number of cases where PAVA was used without effect.