"HUFFING" LEADS TO TWO RECENT DEATHS
In Lincoln, there have been two recent deaths and one recent medical emergency involving the inhalation of the propellant and compounds contained in "canned air": aerosol products marketed for blowing dust off such things as computer keyboards.
The last death in Lincoln from huffing was approximately 16 years ago. These three cases in rapid succession are of grave concern. The Lincoln Police Department feels that we have an ethical obligation to warn the public about this phenomenon, even though this may be painful for the friends and family of the victims.
On November 12, 2008, a 19 year old Lincoln man was found in his apartment next to a plastic bag and a can of "Maxell Blast Away". CPR was initiated and he was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency department.
On December 8, 2008, a 36 year old Lincoln man was found dead in his apartment, with a can of "Safe Clean" dust remover in his hand. Four other empty cans were also recovered, along with receipts for the purchase of 11 cans over a three day period.
Autopsy results in both of these cases show that the victims died from asphyxia by suffocation after inhaling these substances.
On December 6, 2008, Lincoln emergency personnel responded to a medical emergency behind Shopko at 6845 S. 27th Street. A 28 year old man was found slumped over in his vehicle with a can of "Clean Safe" dust remover in his hand. This man recovered from his condition after on-scene treatment by Lincoln Fire & Rescue, and was cited for the offense of inhaling intoxicating vapors.
Other deaths have been reported as a result of the practice of inhaling dust remover products. Warning signs that might be indicative that someone is engaging in huffing these substances include multiple purchases in a short time period, possession of several cans, discovery of several empty cans, and the presence of cans with plastic bags or other paraphernalia associated with huffing.