For my article on nonlethal weapons, I'd like to come up with a good collective term for such devices. "Defensive sprays" seems to stack the deck in favor of my conclusion that the devices should be allowed, since it assumes that they are defensive -- of course, they can be used offensively. "Personal chemical weapons" sounds too ominous, because of the link to the deadly chemical weapons. "Nonlethal chemical weapons" is possible but sounds too abstract, and again too linked to chemical weapons in the military sense. (I realize that such sprays could be lethal, but punches could be lethal, too; as best I can tell, the sprays are lethal only in a tiny fraction of all uses, comparably to other weapons, such as fists, that aren't treated as deadly force.)
My tentative thinking so far is "irritant sprays," but again that seems a bit abstract. I also thought of using "pepper spray," which is more concrete, more commonly heard, and thus more quickly grasped by readers, and defining it at the outset to include the other kinds of sprays; but I prefer to avoid such literally inaccurate definitions, even if I make the literal meaning clear at the outset. So if you have some suggestions, I'd be much obliged. Thanks!