Strong guidelines required after Quebec teen dies inhaling cleaner: coroner
Published Thursday, December 15, 2016 6:20PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 15, 2016 7:14PM EST
A Quebec coroner is recommending action by government, parents and teachers after a 15-year-old boy died from inhaling keyboard cleaner.
Cedrick Barbeau was found dead on his bed next to a bottle of Dust-Off brand dust cleaner.
Coroner Luc Malouin said this is just the tip of the iceberg with so many products that can be used to get high, including this type of aerosol cleaner as well as hair products, cooking products and liquid paper.
Barbeau's body had no marks of violence and the only drugs in his system were marijuana and difluoroethane, the main ingredient in Dust-Off.
Dust-Off is advertised as a safe and effective cleaner but is not intended for internal consumption.
It is, however, one of an estimated 1,400 products that can be sniffed.
Critics argue the manufacturers can help by including a bitter odour that makes it harder to inhale. Several deaths in Quebec have been attributed to inhaling these household products.
Malouin said it's time for a wake-up call
“We must tell young people it's very dangerous, because maybe you get high, but maybe the first time you try it, you will be very, very sick, go to the hospital and maybe die,” he said.
Malouin added that store owners can help by placing these products out of reach and out of sight for children.
He is urging the Quebec government to study the issue and bring in strong guidelines.