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HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES


contact with exposed body parts, even mild frostbite can cause intense burning pain. Compressed air pointed towards an eyeball can blow it out of its socket, and the ejection force from these canisters can rupture an eardrum.


3. Asphyxiation: If canned air is not used in a ventilated area, the gases within the container can be toxic and lead to respiratory issues. As mentioned before, the non-air that comes in ‘canned air’ is actually ozone-destroying, greenhouse gas.


4. Accidental Dizziness: Canned air is no longer allowed on airplanes due to its many harmful attributes. Even if a person is not intentionally ‘huffing,’ just being in proximity to these gasses can cause disorientation and potential injury.


2. Injury: When you use a canned-air product, you can feel the can becoming colder. In fact, the temperature of the liquid in canned air can drop to -58 degrees Fahrenheit. Human body exposure to a steady stream of this liquid can cause serious frostbite with deep cracking and damage to muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. If it is spilled or otherwise comes in


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5. Explosions: The contents of canned air containers are under extreme pressure (up to 70 PSI) and can explode when they reach temperatures near 120-degrees. The fragments of a ruptured canned-air container can fly out like shrapnel and cause serious injuries to skin and deeper organs, not to mention damage property in the immediate and surrounding area.


6. Flash Fires: The gas inside the canned air container takes the form of a liquid, which can spill when the can is held at an angle. This liquid is extremely sensitive to a spark, even from electrical switches, and can burst into flames that release


toxic fumes. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, an employee working in a bowling alley suffered burns to her face due to a flash fire while she was cleaning a paper-shredder using a canned air product. She inadvertently tilted the can, creating an area of intensely flammable gas in the area.


7. Pollution: Each year, it is estimated that 31 million containers of canned air are disposed of and the EPA has declared it to be a “dangerous, hazardous waste.” One kg of HFC-152, a chemical frequently found in canned air, is equivalent to 124 kg of carbon dioxide. These one-time-use canisters pile up in landfills, equal to the volume of tens of thousands of vehicles. The use of just one canister of canned air is equal to burning fully 100 gallons of gasoline.


detailed handling requirements can slow down ‘the works’ both in business and in the home. Using canned air requires that you hold the container upright and you only supply short bursts of propellant at a time. You can’t hold the container at an angle without risking the fluid spill and ice formation that stops functioning altogether. With these short bursts of air, users don’t benefit from a sustained stream of continuous air that would allow them to achieve the task much more efficiently.


“INGESTING CANNED AIR CAN LEAD TO PARALYSIS, SERIOUS INJURIES TO INTERNAL ORGANS AND EVEN DEATH.”


8. Contamination: After spraying canned air, often a chemical residue is left behind. This residue, caused by the ‘bitterant’ flavouring added to deter abuse, can be harmful to the very electronics it was designed to clean, and can contaminate food and other surrounding items.


9. Lost productivity: As you can imagine, using a product with so many


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10. Easy Accessibility: Due to the potentially hazardous effects of the product, sometimes retailers, office managers, homeowners and others must store canned air in a secure fashion— an inconvenient, time-consuming action. However, not everyone takes these precautions and canned air remains an easily accessible and inexpensive way to get high or otherwise abuse the substance.


With all of these issues in mind, it is easy to see how ‘canned air’


affects people’s health, safety and the environment in a variety of ways. Regarded individually, these should inspire consumers to seek the readily available marketplace alternatives, and to ‘crush the can’.


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