Inhalant Abuse and Manufacturer Responsibility
Inhalant abuse, also referred to as ‘huffing’ or ‘dusting’, is a prevalent, sometimes overlooked, method of misusing everyday household items in the United States. Individuals can experience a high by breathing in the fumes of products like the computer cleaner Dust Off.
The high from inhaling nail polish remover, glues, and aerosol sprays can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, but the long-term effects can be persistent and even deadly. Although children and young adults are the most vulnerable group to inhalant abuse, there are little to no regulations preventing these individuals from purchasing the product for recreational intent.
Unfortunately, many users of the drug suffer from severe heart, liver, and brain damage. Others worry for or mourn the deaths of their loved ones.
The Argument for Manufacturer Responsibility
Families across the country that have been affected by popular inhalants such as Dust Off and Ultra Duster are calling for the manufacturers to be held responsible for their lack of warning labels, regulations, and age restrictions. Many aerosol products used for ‘huffing’ are not marked with a warning label to discourage abuse of the product and have no other deterrents, like a bad smell or taste, which might prevent misuse.
With as many as 200 deaths per year directly attributed to inhalant abuse, city council boards and state assemblies are starting to enact legislation to prevent the product from being easily obtainable by children and young adults. Since inhalants are not included within the Control Substances Act, a federal law governing possession, sale, and abuse of many major drugs, each state must make its own laws to prevent inhalant abuse.
For many, this is not enough. Some argue the responsibility should lie with the manufacturer, far before the product is placed within consumer reach. They see the lack of regulation as room for manufacturers to add consumer protections to their potentially deadly product.
Those affected by manufacturers’ negligence are now pursuing legal action to push companies to add labels and other deterrents to reduce the misuse and abuse of products like computer cleaners and aerosol sprays.
Dangers of Inhalant Abuse
Many who abuse inhalants do so because they may not have access to or may not be able to afford other types of drugs. Inhalants can be as cheap as $5 per container, so it can be easy for young adults to obtain multiple cans to ‘huff’ until high.
The most immediate effects of inhalant abuse can be slurred speech, lack of coordination, dizziness, nausea, and even loss of consciousness. With long-term use, ‘dusting’ could damage someone’s heart, brain, liver, and other organs due to a lack of oxygen.
Inhalant abuse can result in ‘sudden sniffing death’ if the user’s heart beats too fast, causing them to suffer a heart attack. With no drug tests to confirm if someone is under the influence of inhalants, this type of substance abuse can be challenging to detect and even more difficult to treat.
Contact an Inhalant Abuse Attorney to Pursue Legal Action Today
If you or a loved one has been seriously affected by inhalant abuse, you may be entitled to compensation from an inhalant manufacturer. Improper warning labels and a lack of restrictions to protect consumers may be a significant cause of this dangerous drug use issue, and manufacturers may be held liable in a court of law.
Our attorneys at Domnick Cunningham & Whalen have years of experience dealing with personal injury and product liability claims. Whether you seek an initial consultation or want to pursue legal action against a negligent manufacturer fully, we could be by your side, giving you counsel throughout your journey.
We understand the frustrations that could come with pursuing a lawsuit against negligent manufacturers. Our compassionate and driven attorneys could help you overcome difficulties and fight for the justice you deserve. Contact a lawyer today to take the next step in fighting inhalant abuse.