Thanks for being a
If you have children
or grandchildren, PLEASE read this officer's story
carefully. It's about the tragic misuse of a
compressed air product available
everywhere there's a computer.
First I'm going to tell you a little about me and my family. My name
I am a Police Officer for a city which is known nationwide for its
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
Thor wouldn't allow it. He would tell on you.
The reason I say this is so you understand that I know about drug s. I
taught in schools about drugs. My wife asks all our kids at least once
if they used any drugs. Makes them promise they won't.
I like building computers occasionally and started building a new one
February 2005. I also was working on some of my older computers. They
full of dust so on one of my trips to the computer store I bought a 3
of DUST OFF. Dust Off is a can of compressed air to blow dust off a
A few weeks later when I went to use one of them they were all used. I
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 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
I went home and set it down beside my computer.
On March 1st, I left for work at 10 PM. Just before midnight my wife
went down and kissed Kyle goodnight. At 5:30 am the next morning Kathy
to wake Kyle up for school, before she left for work. He was propped
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. It's just compressed air. It can't hurt you. His best friend
Kyle was wrong. It's not just compressed air. It also contains a
called 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 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
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
It's easy to say hey, it's my life and I'll do what I want. But it
Others are always affected. 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
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
who also had some in his locker. This is a rather affluent school
They will tell you they don't have a drug problem there. They don't
a dare or plus program there. So rather than tell everyone about this
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
April 2nd was 1 month since Kyle died. April 5th would have been his
birthday. And every weekday I catch myself sitting on the living room
at 2:30 in the afternoon and waiting to see him get off the bus. I
is in heaven but I can't help but wonder if I died and went to Hell.
This Officer is asking for everyone who reads this message to forward
everyone in their address book, even Law Enforcement Officers. You can
also verify the story at
This heart breaking
account was forwarded to me by a special friend who is also a very
caring Grandparent. She has spent most of her career as a Nurse and
she, too, had never heard of the dangers of such a common product. By
sharing this article, I am joining her in alerting other unaware or
unsuspecting Parents and Grandparents to the potential dangers our
children and grandchildren face from compressed air products.
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