Health officials have issued their recommendations to the public about countering the effects of tear gas ahead of the G7 summit, which begins in La Malbaie, Quebec, on Thursday.

In a statement, the CIUSSS Capitale-Nationale reports that tear gas could be used during the summit, and could consequently pose a health risk to demonstrators and people living near the gathering place. 

Tear gas is not toxic, but can produce feelings of great discomfort, experts say. It mainly affects the skin, the eyes, and the respiratory system. 

The gas takes effect in 10 to 30 seconds, but symptoms normally resolve 15 to 30 minutes after exposure. 

It's recommended that people who are exposed to tear gas not touch their face or rub their eyes. Instead, health officials suggest washing hands and quickly rinsing eyes. Next, remove all contaminated clothing and place in a sealed plastic bag. 

If gases seep into homes, it's suggested to clean surfaces thoroughly, clean filters in the fridge and in ventilation systems, and wash off fruits and vegetables with running water - if they're not wrapped tightly or cannot be washed, discard them, experts say.