Falcon Safety Products

What Are Inhalants?

Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that can produce psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A variety of products commonplace in the home and in the workplace contain substances that can be inhaled. Many people do not think of these products, such as spray paint, glue, and cleaning fluid, as drugs because they were never meant to be used to achieve an intoxicating affect. Yet, young children and adolescents can easily obtain them and are among those most likely to abuse these extremely toxic substances. Parents should monitor their household products closely to prevent accidental inhalation.

Inhalants fall into the following categories:

Solvents

  • Industrial or household solvents or solvent-containing products, include paint thinners or removers, degreasers, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline and glue.
  • Art or office supply solvents, include correction fluids, felt-tip marker fluid, and electronic contact cleaners.

Gases

  • Industrial or household solvents or solvent-containing products, include paint thinners or removers, degreasers, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline and glue.
  • Gases used in household or commercial products, include butane lighters and propane tanks, whipping cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets), and dusters.
  • Household aerosol propellants and associated solvents can be found in items such as spray paints, hair and deodorant sprays, and fabric protector sprays.
  • Medical anesthetic gases can be found in ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

Nitrates

  • Aliphatic nitrites, include cyclohexyl nitrite, an ingredient found in room odorizers: amyl nitrite, which is used for medical purposes; and butyl nitrite (previously used to manufacture perfumes and anti-freeze), which is now an illegal substance.

Content from The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): www.drugabuse.gov.