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Dust Off....WARNING!!!!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
If you have children or grandchildren, PLEASE read this officer's story carefully. You can also verify the story at: http://www.snopes.com/toxins/dustoff.asp

Dust Off (or a variant of the product) is available everywhere there's a computer. Copy and paste the above link into your browser if the link itself
does not take you to the site.

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 wont. I like building computers occasionally and started building a new one in February 2005. I also was working on some of my older computers. 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 one of them they were all used. I talked to my kids and my two sons both said they had used them on their computer and
messing around with them. I yelled at them for wasting the $10.00 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 p.m. Just before midnight my wife went down and kissed Kyle goodnight. At 5:30 a.m. the next morning Kathy went
downstairs to wake Kyle up for school, before she left for work. He was cropped 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 a.m.

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. It's just compressed air. It can't hurt you. His best friend said no.

Kyle was wrong. It's not just compressed air. It also contains a propellant called R2. It's 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 can't 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. IT'S NOT AN OVERDOSE. It's Russian Roulette. You don't die later. Or not feel good and say I've had too much. You usually die as you're 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 eyes were still open.

The experts want to call this huffing. The kids don't believe it's huffing. As adults we tend to lump many things together. But it doesn't fit here. And that's why it's 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. It's easy to say hey, it's 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 all seem to 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 can't help but wonder If I died and went to Hell.

This Officer is asking for everyone who receives this email to forward it to everyone in their address book, even Law Enforcement Officers.
post #2 of 23
Thanks for sharing this important information.
post #3 of 23
i dont even know what that stuff is, i feel so bad for the family, thinking they had a perfect family and then this happened
post #4 of 23
God bless that father for having the strength to sit down and write his story so he can and WILL save lives.
And God bless you for passing it on.
Thank you. I will share it with everyone I know!!
I myself have a can of Dust Off in my home. I have 2 girls too young to even know of that yet but my 15 year old brother in law lives with us. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for this info.

post #5 of 23
I saw this guy on CNN and even I, a pediatrician, had not known this stuff was dangerous. I do know some kids will sniff almost anything anf the sniffing stuff seems to affects preteens more than teens. It is easy to access for them. (sighhh!)
post #6 of 23
How awful. I didn't even know about Dust Off, that it excisted. Thanks for posting this, Cheryl.
post #7 of 23
Thanks, that is news to me, too. I will definitely discuss this with my teenager!
post #8 of 23
Wow....how sad, and frightening. I will pass it along also.
post #9 of 23
It's so sad what some teens will do to "fit in" and to "look cool." I can't stand how things like that happens. It just saddens and sickens me to think that someone can be that pressured to fit in. I don't really understand it. I'm homeschooled, and my mother has sheltered me my whole life. I don't even understand the pressure that's on most kids. It's so sad that some succomb to the pressure. I wish that the world today wasn't so... well, there's no other way to describe it other than, wrong. I wish things could be different.
post #10 of 23
Thank you so much for sharing that!! I will spread the story, too. I know that young teens are using all sorts of stuff these days, including asthma inhalers....It is indeed sad when so many dogs & cats are in need of human visitors, so many elderly people need help around the house & yard, and our young people are out getting into mischief instead!
post #11 of 23
Thankyou for this information. I know of Dust Off, but I've never heard of it used in this fashion - I think that's valuable information to pass on to UK schools as well. God bless this man for his courage and his foresight in knowing that he can save more lives by sharing his story.
post #12 of 23
OH, how sad is that! Why people do some of the things they do is so sad............
post #13 of 23
How awful! But thank you for sharing that.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
post #15 of 23
I saw this on Oprah. Tragedies like this that could easily have been prevented are the worst. Parents- please TALK to your kids about issues like this and instill in them self-confidence so that they won't feel the need to do this just to be "cool."
post #16 of 23
post #17 of 23
My husband has a can of this stuff by his computer. We also have a 13 year old in the house. I will DEFINATELY talk to him about this, even have him read it, when he comes home. Talking to your kids and informing them is the ONLY way to prevent these things. That poor family. I cannot even imagine the depth of their grief.
post #18 of 23
Wow I never heard of this before but I will spead your message.
post #19 of 23
Wow Our kids are 14,14,11,10. I will be talking to them about this soon. Luckily the all openly talk about issues like this.

That poor family. Hopefully Kyle knows wherever he is that he is helping save other children with his story.

post #20 of 23
Don't forget to read that snopes article either. Not only does it confirm the story, but it points out that this particular product is not the only culprit -- not by a long shot. It would be so easy to think the problem is solved simply by banning this one product from our environment, when in fact there are many others -- just as seemingly innocuous -- in all of our homes. It's not the product, but the type of packaging. The risk is present in all aerosol products. Somehow I don't think they are all going to be removed from the market anytime soon, so the fix for the problem is not boycotting one product, but dealing with the underlying issues.
post #21 of 23
I had a roomie once I caught doing this, at the age of 25. She would do anything for a 'high', especially a relatively cheap one. She, too, didn't believe it was dangerous so I read up on it and while she was sleeping, took the can(s) outside and emptied them... then threw them in the trash. She got angry with me, but I didn't care.
post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by Sooz123
I had a roomie once I caught doing this, at the age of 25. She would do anything for a 'high', especially a relatively cheap one. She, too, didn't believe it was dangerous so I read up on it and while she was sleeping, took the can(s) outside and emptied them... then threw them in the trash. She got angry with me, but I didn't care.
The thing is...What did she do when she woke up? Its great that you did that but with an addict, you can't just throw their things out and hope it stops...
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
The thing is...What did she do when she woke up? Its great that you did that but with an addict, you can't just throw their things out and hope it stops...
Yeah, but if she had done it again that night.... at least she woke up.
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