Thursday, November 02, 2006

Computer dusting product changed to curb inhalant abuse

An unpalatable additive is being added to computer dusting products in an attempt to discourage aerosol inhalant abuse, a consumer electronics company announced Thursday.
Falcon Safety Products, which manufactures Dust Off, said the change was made to curb inhalant abuse. The practice is known as "dusting," "huffing," or "bagging," and involves the inhalation of compressed air from products intended to be used to clean electronics equipment.
To discourage this abuse of its products, Falcon announced it has come up with a new formula for its products that includes an additive that makes them taste very bad.
"Developing the new aerosol took more than two years of R&D work and substantial financial investment and bringing it to market has been no minor endeavour," said Phil Lapin, president and CEO of Falcon Safety Products, in a release.
"However, if our efforts help make a difference in the fight against inhalant abuse and save even one life, it will have been all worthwhile," he said.
The cans of compressed gas are commonly perceived as harmless cans of air and give users feelings of euphoria, light-headedness and exhilaration. However, the products contain chemicals that can lead to permanent brain damage, asphyxiation and even death.
Last June, school officials and RCMP officials issued a warning to parents about the growing trend after four teenagers in Surrey, B.C., were found inhaling the contents of a computer duster in a school washroom.
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in five children said they had abused a product as an inhalant by the time they reached Grade 8.
Other common household products abused include correction fluid, rubber cement, gasoline, propane, glue, marking pens, hair spray and air fresheners.

from CBC News