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Since 2009, Exit has received requested for information on the so-called ‘Detergent Suicide’ method of ending one’s life. While answers were provided to those asking the questions, it was not thought necessary to include details of the method in The Peaceful Pill Handbook.
This decision has been reviewed in 2011 and this chapter included. We stress however that the method scores poorly on the Exit RP test, and has little to recommend it. It is in effect a cheap and nasty suicide strategy, and readers are advised to consider other better alternatives outlined in this book.
The Method The method makes use of the toxic nature of the gas hydrogen sulfide (H2
S) and it’s ease of generation from readily available
(unrestricted) household chemicals. Hydrogen Sulfide (commonly known as ‘rotten egg gas’) is extremely toxic when inhaled. The mechanism of action is similar to that of hydrogen cyanide (Chapter 7) where the gas binds with and destroys the function of mitochondria within living cells. The gas is as toxic as hydrogen cyanide, but accidental exposure is uncommon because of the strong and unpleasant smell noted with even the smallest concentrations of the gas.