The Dangers of ‘Huffing’ and ‘Dusting’: The Growth of Recreational Inhalants

Common products in households across America can be dangerous: a can of computer cleaner, dusting spray, or aerosol spray. These mundane office or kitchen supplies can be ‘huffed’ or ‘sniffed’ to get high, severely affecting a person’s health or even leading to death. Many people do not understand the hidden danger these products present.

Some of the most popular inhalants, such as Ultra Duster and Blast Away, do not require age verification to purchase. They can be bought in any quantity and are readily available across many retailers, making it easy for young adults and adolescents to get ahold of the addictive substances.

Many parents are calling for action to protect children and young adults from these dangerous substances. While some stores have started to utilize age verification as a tactic to reduce the number of young people purchasing aerosol sprays, some say this will not be enough to protect individuals from trying them and getting addicted, suffering organ damage, and causing their death.

The Effects of ‘Huffing’ and ‘Dusting’

Products utilized for recreational use contain compressed and refrigerated gas, creating a high that can paralyze a user for several minutes with a feeling of euphoria. Within some computer cleaners, like Ultra Duster or Blast Away, the most dangerous ingredients are freons such as fluorinated hydrocarbons.

Immediate effects of inhalant abuse can include a lack of oxygen to the brain, nausea and vomiting, loss of motor control, and loss of consciousness. There is also the possibility of ‘sudden sniffing death’ due to the inhalant disrupting the normal rhythm of a person’s heart, triggering a heart attack or arrhythmias that can persist even after discontinuing abuse of the substance.

Long term effects include heart, liver, kidney, and lung damage, as well as psychological changes due to addiction. Disruptions to family life, professional opportunities, social interactions, and physical tolls can be additional consequences of addiction.

Push for Legal Change

With so many adverse effects and such little legal framework to protect consumers from these dangerous products, many are calling for new laws or restrictions to be implemented.

Manufacturers of products like Ultra Duster, Blast Away, and Dust-off are aware of how young people are using their products and have added labeling to dissuade consumers from abusing it. However, some claim labels are not always effective or easily visible.

There are concerns that labeling is not enough to address all the ways a consumer could misuse the product. Inhalants can be ‘huffed’ or ‘dusted’ straight from the container, ‘bagged’ by spraying the product into a plastic or paper bag or put onto a cloth to inhale. Many families who encounter inhalant abuse say they were unaware that the substance could be abused these ways until after it affected them.

Many have pursued legal action against negligent companies that have not done enough to protect or warn consumers about the harmful effects their products could have if inhaled. Some argue that companies benefit from consumer addiction because it forces them to buy many cans of the product.

Contact an Attorney at Domnick Cunningham & Whalen Today to Hold Aerosol Companies Accountable

Many people are unaware of the magnitude of the inhalant abuse problem until after it has affected their lives. With no warning or knowledge of the addictive nature of such a mundane product, users develop health problems and addictions that they did not know could happen.

If you or someone you love has been affected by products such as Ultra Duster, Blast Away, or another aerosol inhalant, it could be helpful for you to pursue legal action against the negligent manufacturers. With limited restriction and legislation around such a dangerous product, many families want justice against companies that benefit from the misuse of potentially toxic products.

The personal injury attorneys at Domnick Cunningham & Whalen are experienced in product liability lawsuits and could help you explore your legal options against the manufacturers of these harmful products. Call today to request a free initial consultation with our knowledgeable lawyers.