Can Inhaling Air Duster Kill You?

Published: December 19, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Can inhaling Air Duster kill you?

Dear Can Inhaling Air Duster Kill You?,

Yes it can. These products that are generally used for cleaning keyboards can be lethal. Check out this story “Dusted Off” that was making the rounds of the internet a few years ago.

TeenHealthFX can’t empathize enough about the dangers of inhaling “Air Duster” or any other chemicals contained in many common household products listed below:

Volatile Solvents

Adhesives model airplane glue, rubber cement, household glue
Aerosols spray paint, hairspray, air freshener, deodorant, fabric protector, computer keyboard cleaner
Solvents and gases nail polish remover, paint thinner, type correction fluid and thinner, toxic markers, pure toluene, cigar lighter fluid, gasoline, carburetor cleaner, octane booster
Cleaning agents dry cleaning fluid, spot remover, degreaser
Food products vegetable cooking spray, dessert topping spray (whipped cream), whippets
Gases nitrous oxide, butane, propane, helium


Anesthetic nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform

( Nitrite room odorizers)

Amyl "Poppers," "Snappers"
Butyl "Rush," "Locker room," "Bolt," "Climax," also marketed in head shops as "video head cleaner"

Most inhalants act directly on the nervous system to produce mind-altering effects. Within seconds, the user experiences intoxication and other effects similar to those from alcohol. There are a variety of effects that may be experienced during or shortly after use, including:

  • Slurred speech
  • Drunk, dizzy or dazed appearance
  • Inability to coordinate movement
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Hostility
  • Apathy
  • Impaired judgment
  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe headaches
  • Rashes around the nose and mouth
  • Prolonged sniffing of these chemicals can induce irregular and rapid heartbeat and lead to heart failure and death within minutes.
  • Death from suffocation can occur by replacing oxygen in the lungs with the chemical, and then in the central nervous system, so that breathing ceases.

Long-term users have experienced:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Disorientation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Serious and sometimes irreversible damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain
  • Memory impairment, diminished intelligence
  • Hearing loss
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Deaths from heart failure or asphyxiation (loss of oxygen)

Inhalant users risk Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome based on the fact death can occur the first time or the hundredth time an inhalant is used.

Inhalants can be physically and psychologically addictive. Habitual users coming off inhalants suffer withdrawal symptoms which can include nausea, excessive sweating, muscle cramps, headaches, chills, agitation, with shaking and hallucinations. In severe cases, withdrawal can cause convulsions.

There is a distinct possibility that your memory loss is related to your significant intake of “Air Duster,” but TeenHealthFX cannot give you a definitive answer. It would be a good idea for you to see a neurologist (a specialty related to the human nervous system) so that you can get a better understanding of what is going on.

To learn more check out the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition.



Signed: TeenHealthFX