FRUITDALE, Ind. – A coroner says a 19-year-old central Indiana woman's death was likely caused by intentionally inhaling fumes from a can of air freshener.
Police say the mother of Elizabeth Mulvey found her unresponsive Tuesday afternoon in the younger woman's home at the Brown County community of Fruitdale. County Coroner Earl Piper says Mulvey had been dead for at least eight hours and that items found in the home point to a huffing-related death.
He said that propellants in aerosol cans contain butane-based elements that can be toxic if directly inhaled.
National surveys indicate that more than 22.9 million Americans have abused inhalants at least once in their lives, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA's 2005 Monitoring the Future study revealed that 17.3 percent of eighth-graders have abused inhalants.
Inhaling a dangerous substance just once can disrupt heart rhythms and cause death from cardiac arrest or lower oxygen levels enough to cause suffocation. Regular abuse can result in serious harm to vital organs including the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.hoosiertimes.com