Yes also don't affectionately intimately fondle your girlfriend either after chopping chillies, especially with habaneros.
Just to clarify, I didn't mean to refer specifically to allergies, just a similar response.
I'm thinking that since capsaicin is an inflammatory, it can cause swelling, and might cause the airway to close when too much is ingested. The whole, "OMG... I can't breathe" response...
Another potential issue which just occurred to me... If you get any on your fingers, be sure to wash your hands before using the mens room.
it is almost impossible to get capsaicin off your hands Wash a lot of times with strong detergent soap, cooking oil and/or alcohol, and watch under fingernails. Capsaicin is not soluble in water.
If you get done by the cops don't let them put water on you as is the practice here. that will make the effect worse.
Usually the asthma/air type problem comes only if your are allegic or asthmatic. Some people are allergic but often the effect is more psycholocal than real (of couse that can be a problem too).
Also the extreme amount of capsaicin used in police sprays can and has caused death.
There was one study whre some boared gastro. doctors poured almost pure capsaiacin into some poor bugger's stomach and then watched with a camera. There was a lot of blood going to the stoamch wall (capsaicins are hyperanemic rather than inflamatory) and that's about it. Really quite tame.
The hyperanemic effect is another reason capsaicins are good in sports and arthritic rubs they pronbaly promote digestion as well.