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Thread: OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    First I'm going to tell you a little about me and my family. My name is Jeff. I am a Police Officer for a city which is known nationwide for its crime rate. We have a lot of gangs and drugs. At one point we were # 2 in the nation
    in homicides per capita. I also have a police K-9 named Thor. He was certified in drugs and general duty. He retired at 3 years old because he was shot in the line of duty. He lives with us now and I still train with him because he likes it. I always liked the fact that there was no way to bring drugs into my house. Thor wouldn't allow it. He would tell on you. The reason I say this is so you
    understand that I know about drugs. I have taught in schools about drugs. My wife asks all our kids at least once a week if they used any drugs. Makes them promise they won't.

    I like building computers occasionally and started building a new one in February 2005. I also was working on some of my older omputers. They were full of dust so on one of my trips to the computer store I bought a 3 pack of DUST
    OFF. Dust Off is a can of compressed air to blow dust off a computer. A few weeks later when I went to use them they were all used. I talked to my kids and my 2 sons both said they had used them on their computer and messing around with them. I yelled at them for wasting the 10 dollars I paid for them. On February 28 I went back to the computer store. They didn't have the 3 pack which I had bought on sale so I bought a single jumbo can of Dust Off. I went
    home and set it down beside my computer.

    On March 1st I left for work at 10 PM. At 11 PM my wife went down and kissed Kyle goodnight. At 530 am the next morning Kathy went downstairs to wake Kyle up for school, before she left for work. He was sitting up in bed with his legs crossed and his head leaning over. She called to him a few times to get
    up. He didn't move. He would sometimes tease her like this and pretend he fell back asleep. He was never easy to get up. She went in and shook his arm. He fell over. He was pale white and had the straw from the Dust Off can coming out of his mouth. He had the new can of Dust Off in his hands. Kyle was dead.

    I am a police officer and I had never heard of this. My wife is a nurse and she had never heard of this. We later found out from the coroner, after the autopsy, that only the propellant from the can of Dust off was in his system. No other drugs. Kyle had died between midnight and 1 Am.

    I found out that using Dust Off is being done mostly by kids ages 9 through 15. They even have a name for it. It's called dusting. A take off from the Dust Off name. It gives them a slight high for about 10 seconds. It makes
    them dizzy. A boy who lives down the street from us showed Kyle how to do this about a month before. Kyle showed his best friend. Told him it was cool and it couldn't hurt you. Its just compressed air. It cant hurt you. His best friend said no.

    Kyle's Dead.
    Kyle was wrong. It's not just compresses air. It also contains a propellant I think its R2. Its a refrigerant like what is used in your refrigerator. It is a heavy gas. Heavier than air. When you inhale it, it fills your lungs
    and keeps the good air, with oxygen, out. That's why you feel dizzy, buzzed. It decreases the oxygen to your brain, to your heart. Kyle was right. It cant hurt you. IT KILLS YOU. The horrible part about this is there is no warning. There is no level that kills you. It's not cumulative or an overdose; it can just go randomly, terribly wrong. Roll the dice and if your number comes up you die. ITS NOT AN OVERDOSE. Its Russian roulette. You don't die
    later. Or not feel good and say I've had too much. You usually die as your breathing it in. If not you die within 2 seconds of finishing "the hit." That's why the straw was still in Kyle's mouth when he died. Why his eye's were still open.

    The experts want to call this huffing. The kids don't believe its huffing. As adults we tend to lump many things together. But it doesn't fit here. And that's why its more accepted. There is no chemical reaction. no strong odor. It doesn't follow the huffing signals. Kyle complained a few days before
    he died of his tongue hurting. It probably did. The propellant causes frostbite. If I had only known.

    Its easy to say hay, its my life and I'll do what I want. But it isn't. Others are always effected. This has forever changed our family's life. I have a hole in my heart and soul that can never be fixed. The pain is so immense I can't describe it. There's nowhere to run from it. I cry all the time and I
    don't ever cry. I do what I'm supposed to do but I don't really care. My kids are messed up. One won't talk about it. The other will only sleep in our room at night. And my wife, I can't even describe how bad she is taking this. I thought we were safe because of Thor. I thought we were safe because we knew about drugs and talked to our kids about them.

    After Kyle died another story came out. A Probation Officer went to the school system next to ours to speak with a student. While there he found a student using Dust Off in the bathroom. This student told him about another student who also had some in his locker. This is a rather affluent school system. They will tell you they don't have a drug problem there. They don't even have a dare or plus program there. So rather than tell everyone about this "new" way of getting high they found, they hid it. The probation officer told the media after Kyle's death and they, the school, then admitted to it. I know that if they would have told the media and I had heard, it wouldn't have been in my house.

    We need to get this out of our homes and school computer labs.

    Using Dust Off isn't new and some "professionals" do know about. It just
    isn't talked about much, except by the kids. They know about it.

    April 2nd was 1 month since Kyle died. April 5th would have been his 15th birthday. And every weekday I catch myself sitting on the living room couch at 2:30 in the afternoon and waiting to see him get off the bus. I know Kyle is in heaven but I cant help but wonder If I died and went to Hell.


  2. #2
    Doug Dolde

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    So why are you posting this here? To share your depression? Thanks anyway I don't need to read this stuff on a photography forum.

  3. #3

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    Way to go Doug, kick'em while they are down!

    Hell, if we can go through more than 100 post about digital vs traditional, I think we can extend a hand to a guy who is in

    Jeff, my heart goes out to you, yes this is off topic but who cares? Sometimes writing about terrible experiences like this help you and gives us a heads up.

    Dust off contains a halogenated hydrocarbon called difluroethane, as you say it is heavier than air. It does not replace oxygen in the blood stream but what it does is evacuate it from the lungs. It is harder to "push" out as you exhale and it does accumulate in the lungs causing asphyxia by preventing oxygen exchange in the lungs.

    In any case, once again my deepest condolences I hope time will heal your wound.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Gulfport, MS, USA

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    Jeff, thanks for the awful lot of people on this site use computers ALOT and might have that stuff sitting around. My sympathy and prayers go out to you and your family.

  5. #5
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Southfield, Michigan

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    Dust-Off is a tool many of us use and keep around our homes. Like many of the chemicals and other agents we use in photography, in the wrong hands these items can be lethal. I don't have kids, but many others of you do and while I can't possibly imagine the pain a parent must endure at the senseless loss of a child, I have friends and business associates that have gone through this horror and I have seen the toll it takes. My sympathy to you and your family Jeff. If telling this story helps you deal with your loss, I'm sure many will listen and will benefit from hearing it.

  6. #6

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    The posting is from a chain-letter.

    More info at Break the chain or just do a Google search on the topic plus the word "hoax".

  7. #7

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    Aww hell, duped by a spammer....sorry Doug, seems your initial assessment was correct.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Los Angeles

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    Jorge: I'm still looking for that darned Penny Brown kid. It could happen to anyone.

  9. #9
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    actually if you read the Break The Chain entry, this is one of the rare chain letters that ISN'T a hoax. It became a chain letter probably just by being forwarded after Kyle Williams father posted the message on a couple of discussion groups as a form of catharisis.

    This problem came up at a recent coroners meeting I attended (and details of this case and others cited) and is a very real problem with a growing number of youth deaths from huffing Dustoff, which nearly all of us photogrpahers have hanging around - and it's usually the younger age group doing it - some as young as 6 or 7.

    For whatever reason the message was posted here (perhaps because 95% of us in his group probably have Dustoff on the shelf), all the facts in the message are correct. Kyle Williams did die in Cleveland Ohio.

    (BTW best site for the truth or otherwise of internet legends is Snopes )
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn blog

  10. #10

    OffTopic, Dust Off dangers

    Sadly, it also checks out as "True" at Snopes, the site that debunks urban legends:

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