What are the side effects of inhaling gas fumes?

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The damage caused by inhaling gas fumes can occur unintentionally but most cases can be due to those who are looking for a rapid “high”. The gases present in household and commercial products can include propane tanks, butane lighters, refrigerant gases, whipped cream aerosols and dispensers, ether, nitrous oxide and chloroform.


Some inhale chemicals via the mouth or nose or sniff fumes from containers or rags soaked in the gases. Take note that the intoxicating effects will only last for a few minutes and the individual can repeatedly inhale the gas fumes for long periods, thus leading to life-threatening health issues. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can learn how to distinguish the dangerous side effects.


An individual who gets high by inhaling gas fumes and other inhalants can lead to unwanted side effects due to the various detrimental changes in the body. The inhalants can affect the brain and nervous system. The side effects include difficulty speaking or walking and then followed by dizziness or agitation. The gases can even lead to loss of coordination, slurred speech, elevated heart rate, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Nerve damage

Gas fumes
The gases can even lead to loss of coordination, slurred speech, elevated heart rate, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

The inhalants deprive the body of oxygen which results to hypoxia which causes damage to the cells and tissues all over the body. The gas fumes can affect certain parts of the brain particularly among those who utilize inhalants regularly.

The memory of the individual can become distorted and have difficulty in remembering things or even simple conversations. Long-term inhalation of gas fumes can lead to the breakdown of the myelin which is the fatty tissue that protects the nerve fibers. These fibers typically communicate with other nerves. Once they are damaged, it leads to muscle spasms and tremors that can affect bending, walking and talking.

Permanent damage

The inhalation of gases and other chemicals can lead to harmful and lasting damage. Degenerative diseases of the nervous system and permanent limb spasms can develop from inhaling gasoline, whipped cream dispensers and gas cylinders. Muscle weakness and brain damage can also occur. In some cases, others can suffer from loss of sense of hearing or smell. Additionally, inhalation of gasoline can also lead to bone marrow damage.

What are the lethal consequences?

The gases present in aerosol sprays can instigate unexpected heart failure and even death in just a few minutes of inhaling the products, particularly during frequent inhalation during a session. Propane, butane and chemicals in aerosols can result to a syndrome called as sudden sniffing death. The individual can die from suffocation due to the deprivation of oxygen in the lungs. The individual will suddenly lose consciousness and stop breathing. In some cases, an individual inhales gas from a plastic bag or paper in a closed space, thus increasing the risk for suffocation.

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