OLATHE, Kan. — A woman is facing charges for huffing cleaner in order to get high at a Walmart in Johnson County, Kansas.
Melissa Ann Wright is accused of huffing the industrial strength duster chemical that’s normally used to clean computers, according to KCTV.
Police say a witness saw Wright huffing the can of Ultra Duster about 11 p.m. Wednesday inside the Walmart near East Santa Fe Street and South Black Bob Road. The person called 911.
The spray is supposed to be used as a cleaner. The bottle warns that inhaling it can be harmful or even cause death.
“Once it enters the system it causes the heart to become super sensitive to things like adrenaline,” said Tama Sawyer, the managing director of the University of Kansas Poison Control Center. “So if you are frightened, you can have a heart attack.”
One of the most common injuries from huffing is instant frostbite.
But Wright refused any medical attention.
“They cause frostbite on contact. So you would have frostbite of the lips, throat, mouth and even further down,” Sawyer said.
Because of those dangers and the fact it can cause a liver or kidney to shut down. The makers of the product added a bitter taste to discourage abuse.
University of Kansas Hospital said huffing calls are rare.
Experts say someone might use compressed air to get high not because they’re addicted to the chemical inside, but instead are addicted to the way it makes them feel. They say it can be similar to a drunk-intoxicated type of feeling.