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Public Awareness and Education Regarding Inhalant Abuse

As a leading manufacturer of air duster and aerosol products, Max Professional™ is committed to educating the public about the dangers of inhalant abuse, commonly known as “huffing”. It is important that consumers of aerosol products and the general public (including teachers, parents and children) understand the seriousness of this illicit practice.

At Max Professional™ we believe that, through education, we can be proactive in warning of the dangers of inhalant abuse and help to prevent harm to adults and children.

First and foremost, the labels on our aerosol cans specifically state:


It is the intent of Max Professional to help educate the public about the dangers of inhalant abuse. There have been many fatalities related to this illicit practice despite current efforts to inform people of the dire consequences of such behavior. Please use our product responsibly and remember to keep it out of reach of children or other dependant individuals.

+ What is Inhalant Use?

Inhalant use refers to the intentional breathing of gas or vapors with the purpose of reaching a psychoactive effect or mind-altering effect. Inhalants are legal everyday products that have a useful purpose but can be misused. These products include over 1000 commercial products, such as paint, glue, ink correction fluid, air freshener, and cooking spray, which are very dangerous when inhaled.

+ What are the 3 defined Categories of Inhalants?

1. Solvents: These can be for either industrial or household uses
    Adhesives: model airplane glue, rubber cement, household glue
    Aerosols: spray paint, air fresheners, fabric protector, and computer keyboard cleaners
    Solvents and Gases: nail polish remover, paint thinner, gasoline,
    Cleaning Agents: dry cleaning agents, spot remover
    Food Product: vegetable-cooking spray, dessert whipping spray
    Gases: nitrous oxide, butane, propane, and helium

2. Anesthetics: nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform

3. Nitrates: Amy “Poppers”, Snappers,
    Butyl: “Rush” “Climax”

+ What should Parents and Teachers tell Children and Students about Inhalant Abuse?

It is never too early to teach children and students about the dangers of inhalant abuse. Parents often do not educate their children until it is too late and they have become habituated to inhalants or even resulted in a fatality. It is important to understand that young people may use inhalants as a cheap accessible substitute for alcohol. We encourage you to review the following link on tips for speaking children regarding inhalant abuse:

+ What are the Health Hazards of Inhalants?

Although they differ in their chemical constituency, most inhalants produce short-term effect of intoxication, similar to that achieved with alcohol consumption. Regardless of whether the product is inhaled through the nose or mouth, the effect of intoxication only last several seconds unless it is repeatedly inhaled, whereby the “high” is prolonged. In fact, if sufficient amounts are inhaled, nearly all solvents and gases will produce anesthesia, sensory disturbances, and can ultimately result in unconsciousness.

+ What is the Long Term Irreversible Damage from Inhalant Abuse?

It has been clearly documented that chronic long-term inhalant abusers suffer from cognitive impairment and neurological dysfunction as well as other psychological and social problems. The specific detrimental consequences on the body range depending on the type of inhalant abused, the frequency and any other adjunct chemicals ingested/inhaled.
Here is a description of some of the potential harmful effects of inhaling specific solvents:

Toluene (found in spray paint and glue)
  •brain damage
  •central nervous system disturbance
  •hearing impairment
  •liver and kidney damage

Trichloroethylene (found in correction fluid)
  •hearing impairment

Hexane (found in glues, gasoline) and Nitrous Oxide (whipped cream cylinders)
  •limb spasms

Benzene (gasoline)
  •bone marrow damage

Methylene Chloride (paint thiers and varnish removers) and Nitrates (poppers, rush)

+ Can Death be Caused from Inhalant Abuse?

Yes. Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of certain inhalants can lead to heart failure (cardiac arrest) and death within minutes of prolonged use of inhalants. There are two possible mechanisms which willresult in a fatality:

1. Sudden Sniffing Death (SSDS)
This is the most common killer of inhalant abusers and can even occur when the victim is trying inhalants for the first time. In fact, most causes of death related to inhalants, are with first time users “experimenting” with these products. Some deaths occur because the individual is frightened or startled while inhaling the product (for example, if they are discovered by an authority figure or even startled by their own hallucination). This causes a surge of epinephrine or “adrenaline rush” which creates a heightened sensory experience. This surge also stimulates an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which overtaxes the heart and can cause a cardiac arrhythmia resulting in a massive heart attack

2. Hypoxia causing death
Hypoxia is defined as a lack of oxygen to the heart and/or brain, which will eventually result in death if not quickly, corrected. This can occur when the abuser is huffing from a plastic bag and fresh air is not inhaled. Remember that some inhalant gases are “heavier” than air and, if regular breathing is not maintained, the gases will remain in the lungs and not be expelled out naturally resulting in hypoxia.