In Dan Gookin’s Wambooli email update yesterday he let loose a warning about the danger of Huffing with Dust-Off and how inhaling Dust-Off to get a high can lead to death.

Dust-Off is a compressed air product that used to be mainly used to blow away grit and dust from film negatives. Today you use mainly Dust-Off to blow away grit and dust from computers. The Dust-Off danger is real and not new.

Dust-Off is easy to misuse and we must all come together to remove the Dust-Off temptation from feeble minds not strong enough to resist fleeting temptation with everlasting aftereffects. I was one of the feebleminded.

I was one of those who naively gave in to the Dust-Off temptation. I lived to tell you this story. When I was in high school around 1982 or so huffing Dust-Off — today the kids call it “dusting” while back then we called it… “inhaling Dust-Off” — was the fad of the day and my friends and I were into it for about three weeks until the little voice in my head started to die and I realized my life was fading away.

As a member of the high school journalism squad we had full access to a large darkroom that we could lock from the inside. We were practicing “old-style” journalism before the rise of digital media so if we needed to create prints or develop film — or do some other dastardly teenaged deeds like mixing 7-Up with rotgut whiskey like Ancient Age
— or suck in some Dust-Off — we’d simply lock the door and if anyone tried to get in we’d scream “we’re developing film in here, if we open the door the film will be ruined, come back later!” and the intruder would go away for a half hour.

I don’t think that sort of darkroom cry would work today: “We’re formatting Compact Flash cards in here, come back in five seconds!” just doesn’t have the same ring of urgency as the possibility of ruining an entire roll of film of cheerleaders doing the splits.

The school purchased Dust-Off for the school newspaper photographers and we, as a staff, drew a lot of it down into our lungs instead of using it to clean negatives. You’d pinch your lips over the nozzle, gently pull the trigger to release the horrible stuff and then you’d try to let it sink into your lungs and hold it there until you couldn’t anymore.

You always got dizzy. Sometimes you couldn’t move for a little bit. A few people threw up in the developing sink. You didn’t want to do a full-on Dust-Off blast because it might overload your lungs or — as Chad warned us after finding out — it would freeze your tongue. Soon we were purchasing our own “personal” canisters of Dust-Off for use outside of school. We didn’t buy the big, industrial version with the metal nozzle that the school provided because that was too expensive.

We went for the pocket-size Dust-Off that came with a silly red “straw” that you stuck in a tiny nozzle to give you a specific spray. We used that red straw to specifically drink in freezing lungsful of death. I did Dust-Off by myself at home three times. The first two times I started on the floor in case I got dizzy.

The awful sound of blood throbbing in my head coupled with intensely flashing spots of light put me in netherworld of the Dust-Off dying where the living were lucky to escape alive. Suckling Dust-Off was a dark feeling and I remember wondering why we all pretended to enjoy it so much when we were together.

The last time I did Dust-Off was the day after the first two attempts. I remember standing on the landing above the stairs. The next thing I remember was being upside down and groggy at the foot of the stairs. I was flat on my back with my feet up the stairs and my head was resting on the bottom step. My eyes were stuck open.

My head felt cracked open.

I tried to remember who I was and where I was and I could not think of anything other than trying to breathe. I was stuck there, upside down with blood pooling in my head, for a good hour before my body came back to me and I was able to move.

When I saw the can of Dust-Off on the floor next to me I realized how I had nearly met my death and probably should have become my quadriplegic doppelganger since I had obviously blacked out and tumbled down the stairs upside down. I threw the Dust-Off in the garbage. I knew I had escaped with my life relatively intact and today, 23 year later, I still shudder at the great stupidity and incredible luck that are the hallmarks of privileged youth.

Only the fortunate are able to peer back into the tender abyss of the young, from which some never escape, to tell a tale. Dust-Off, like many fine tools in the world, can kill you if you use it as an implement to cheapen your life and tempt death. My head still hurts from the remembering.


  1. Sorry, had a run in with the tab button last time. I am writing a paper for an English class (English 102) about Dust Off Deaths as an urban legend. I was wondering if you would have any additional information to offer me, if so it would be extremely helpful.
    Thank you, Amanda.

  2. Hi Amanda —
    Make sure you cite all your sources in your paper. 🙂
    I don’t think “Death by Dust Off” is an urban legend because people have died by huffing it across all strata of society.
    I would go to medical sites for information. I would contact hospital emergency rooms. I would click on the Snopes hotlink I provide in my article.
    Good luck with your paper!

  3. hi my name is kim and i have an eleven yr old son.He, my son has tried dusting without any knowledge of what he was doing to himself.Now i have gone to the local tv station and they are willing to help me get the word out about dusting. I feel like i am out on a mission since reality hit home.

  4. After reading you story i really am starting to wonder about the consequences that come with inhalents. I am 14 years old and i must admit i have tried dust-off in my past, but only once before. My freinds are starting to once again make it a habit after i thought that everyone had gotten over the ‘fad’. Now that i read about the dangers and how unsafe the product can be I really want to thank you for opening my eyes. This information comes from one of many sites im using to try to show my friends how dangerous it can be. Thank you for using your own life stories to warm others.

  5. Dear Stacy —
    Please be careful! I am horrified to learn you are now just 14 but you already tried Dust-Off in the past.
    There is nothing good for you in inhaling and I hope your friends will realize that as well before it’s too late for them to give up the can.

  6. Hi my name is courtney an i read your story on inhalinging dust off…next month i am 16 and i have had past experiences with products like dust off…i called it “huff huff” and soon thats what my friends called it to…i became quickly and stongly addicted to it always wanting it…one of my friends almost died from it, but i still continued to inhale it…me and my friends would always buy cans of it and we would do it in the park or in our houses…where ever…i started even doing it in public just sticking the can under my sweatshirt…i loved the high…i did it in an arcade a few months ago n passed out and fell of a game straight on my head…there was a few people surrounding me when i woke up..luckily it was people i knew…i finally realized i had an addiction after a few months of inhaling dust off…i havent done it in a month or so now…i still crave it and taste its sweet taste sometimes..but i keep myself away from it…im sure if it was in front of me now i would do it…i never thought i would become addicted to any drug…but i was wrong…some of my friends still do it…but me and some of my friends got most of them to quit…i started realizing that it was messing with my head i couldnt remember certain things…i alwayz loved the high from dust off so much…i remember everytime i passed out i would go to another place and have a really trippy dream…people with kids please watch out for this…many teens are doing this…many may say young kids 9-15 are doing it but its not true im sure kids that young are doing it too, but me and my friendz were ranging from 13-18 maybe even older doing it…it can be any age warn your kids…tell them you can die and it ruins lives…you never know if when your going to die with dust off it just happens…if you are a teenager or young kid reading this DONT try it…this is coming from a person who was severly addicted to it….this stuff may seem good to you because of the high u get…but its not…dust off kills!!!!

  7. Hi Courtney —
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us here. The harsh reality of your Dust-Off experience is both touching and a great warning to others.
    You are right about the “sweet taste” — I had forgotten that — and the addictive quality of each huff and you are brave to recognize the danger in that sweet craving.
    I admire you for coming here in public to warn others away from what could have killed you.
    Good luck in your recovery! 🙂

  8. Wow… crazy to think that we could possibley get to the youth of today; they are merely the us of yesterday! So sad it is that we can not protect our children from thesmelves. Adolescense is a test of time, a test of limitations, and self-actualization. What are we missing here? It is not the dust off, it is not the drugs and chemicals that surround us in our environment. It is a lack of foundation, one rooted in reality, that compells our youth to aimlessley wonder without regard for consequence.

  9. So then David what can we do? You are a man of great ideals, do you feel that placing restrictions on potentially hazardous products, could reduce the incidence of fatal accidents occurring from their misuse? Do we need rope manfactures to label their rope with words warning consumers not to place it around their neck! Or is it ultimately our responsibility to instil in our children good consumer habits? I have a six year old and an eight year old, I warn them constantly about the dangers of chemicals and cleaning products, though I still wonder will it do any good. One of my children will not allow a car to go into reverse without all passengers being buckled, while the other thoroughly enjoys spinning in circles in an attempt to change the view around her. One detest taking medicine, while the other request to continue taking it even after she has recovered from her cold! One can not stand to be out of control, and the other loves to be free! Guess which one I anticipate needing more redirection, guidance, and reinforcement! When I here these stories of huffing and inhaling of chemicals to get high, first of all it breaks my soul, and I wonder what can I do to prevent my children from falling into such situations! Do we share with them the harsh reality of the outcomes? What should we share with them, and how much information is to much?

  10. Hi Jennie —
    There is a fine line between education and inspiration. Just posting my experience here was risky on some level because it might ignite a wondering in a child or a teenager to try the product in the wrong way. I chose to share the experience after I saw there were still children huffing the product 20 years after my near-fatal experience.
    With Dust-Off I would hope they could change the chemical composition of the product so there was no buzz to be had.
    As for your children, I confess the one I want to meet is the one who enjoys spinning in circles! There is a freedom of living there that is exciting and refreshing and those spirits are the kind that changes the world while everyone else buckles in against the wild unknown. I would encourage that freedom from restriction instead of tamping it down.
    I believe the answer is in leading by example and when the example is not accepted we must be there to offering a helping hand to those who stumble. Free will is a wonderful and dangerous thing, just like the real world, and all we can do is share our experience, warn against repeating mistakes that have already been made and hope for the best against the worst.
    I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much information but telling is not always as effective as showing and sometimes children need to feel the error of their ways by the defeat of their free will behavior. We all hope that learning feeling comes long before the possibility to feel anything is no longer an option.

  11. Dear David,
    Let me just say im a 43 year old mother of 3 (well 2 now) and i never heard off DUSTER or DUSTING until June 18 at 4 30 pm. That would be the day my life would change forever. I received a phone call froma detective from the Sunrise Florida PD asking if i had a son named Josh, and to which i replied yes and what has he done? She then replied oh no , he isnt in trouble, but …. at that moment my heart was broken for ever. My 24 year old son tried dust off for the first and LAST time. He was burried on June 22 2005 , his uncles 38 th birtday. I can not exopress enough that this product IS NOT A QUICK HIGH its a quick death, they tell me that Josh didnt suffer but who knows that ??? He is not here to tell if he was in pain. Please please strees to kids young and old that are even thinking of such a stupid thing to HUFF or Dusting or what ever it is called, think about your life, think about what your family will go through. Dont do it. As for our family it seems to be slowly falling apart. I am not sure what to do next .. I just know im angry that this product can be easily bought by small children and if you read the waring lables, they are NOT sufficent.

  12. Dear David,
    Let me just say im a 43 year old mother of 3 (well 2 now) and i never heard off DUSTER or DUSTING until June 18 at 4 30 pm. That would be the day my life would change forever. I received a phone call froma detective from the Sunrise Florida PD asking if i had a son named Josh, and to which i replied yes and what has he done? She then replied oh no , he isnt in trouble, but …. at that moment my heart was broken for ever. My 24 year old son tried dust off for the first and LAST time. He was burried on June 22 2005 , his uncles 38 th birtday. I can not exopress enough that this product IS NOT A QUICK HIGH its a quick death, they tell me that Josh didnt suffer but who knows that ??? He is not here to tell if he was in pain. Please please strees to kids young and old that are even thinking of such a stupid thing to HUFF or Dusting or what ever it is called, think about your life, think about what your family will go through. Dont do it. As for our family it seems to be slowly falling apart. I am not sure what to do next .. I just know im angry that this product can be easily bought by small children and if you read the waring lables, they are NOT sufficent.

  13. Thank you for your beautiful and touching story, Paula, and I feel your grief and despair.
    Let’s hope others here who are silently reading this but not posting their wish to test temptation will be tempered away from the idea by the haunting example of your dead son.

  14. A San Diego 30 year old stepfather to a 19 yr old named Shannon who was addicted to dust off, for all the help we tried to convey, doctors, video tapes about dusting and even trips to the hospital to get her off this stuff, but SHE had to check herself in for help being that she was 19 & considered an adult. Well she passed away last week from her habit, her 17 yr old cousin found her unresponsive in her bed, needless to say 911 had him perform CPR then they did all they could for 1hr 45min to bring her back with no success at the ER. She went to the game stop stores to aquire this dust off, she stole dvds, video games for store credit to buy these cans of death. After we found out where all our stuff was going to, we brought her to these stores and told them not to sell this stuff to her due to it’s potential deadly effect. Well the very store we warned was the one who sealed this girls fate. Her poor mother is in shambles and the family devistated. We are seeking legal action against the store for the blatent disregard. They knew her by face she was in there so much! If anyone can relate please shoot an email to my wife and I at God bless all and i pray no one will ever have to bear witness to such a sad, scary event.

  15. Dear Jason —
    I am sorry for your terrible story and I feel for Shannon’s frustration. I regret she was unable to come to her own rescue and I hope you will not feel responsible for her death.
    Your experience is sobering and awful and any person here wondering if they should give Dust-Off a taste or not will be unable to remove the distinct flavor of death you have so beautifully left in their mouths.
    Thank you for taking the time to share your story and I know you have already saved some lives.

  16. Hello,
    I am a journalist working on a story on “dusting.” I am often assigned to stories like this because my goal is to get the message out in hopes of saving kids lives. I was hoping to talk to a family or kid who has experienced a dusting problem. I am located in boston and can travel up to 4 hours away. You can reach me at 617-725-0786 or email me at
    Thank You..hopefully together we can get the message out to kids not to try this.

  17. Hi Christina!
    I’m sure someone here will be able to help you and don’t forget to mention to your viewers you came here to get help! 🙂

  18. I googled “dust off deaths” and found this site. I never heard about Dust Off or “dusting” until my dear friend Jillen died on Tuesday, sitting in her car alone. The police found “multiple cans of Dust Off” in the car. We later found over 20 empty cans in her photo studio. Jillen was 38 years old, a brilliant, visionary photographer and artist. No one noticed the Dust Off cans in her photo studio. Colorless, odorless, deadly. I believe it was an accident. I and all her friends are devastated by this senseless death. What I need to know is what is so great about the high that people risk sudden death? Jillen was an alcoholic trying to stay sober. No one smelled Dust Off on her breath, though I suspect she had been doing it for some time.

  19. Hi Kim —
    Thanks for letting us know how you found us. It is good to know this article is being read.
    If your friend was a photographer I’m sure she used Dust-Off every day with good and proper intention as part of her job. It is a handy product for getting rid of specs and dirt from photographic negatives.
    Computer repair people also use Dust-Off a lot in order to get gunk and dust out of computer innards.
    I don’t think you can smell Dust-Off on the breath. It’s a gas, I believe, and it affects the lungs and their capacity to process oxygen and effect only lasts for a few minutes so there aren’t a lot of external signs a person has just been “dusted.”
    There’s no reason for the addiction. Her job was the perfect cover for her addiction and it probably helped sooth the alcohol loss in some way.

  20. Hi my name is Ronnie Acker. I just got caught useing DUST OFF. It all started in june 2005. Me and my friend Nate where just sitting around an he pointed to a can of DUST OFF i had lieing around for dusting out my computer. He inhaled it and then said try this. Stupidly i tried it. About a week later we went over my friend kyles house and there was about 5 of us there. We where walking around the streets doing it and my friend Nate passed out in the middle of the street. A car was comeing so we dragged him to the side of the road. We where pretty sure he was dead but aout 10 minutes later which felt like 10 years he woke up. He had no clue what had happed or how it had happend. About 2 weeks after that i used it with my friend again and i passed out when i woke up i had all these cuts on me and i was a bloody mess. That still wasent enough for me to stop. Now this brings me where i stand today i am not aloud to go to school for 5 weeks. Me and my friends thought of the idea of doing it in the school bathroom which was completlty retarded. We all got caught and now about 20 of us are all suspended from school. Now that i look back on it i now relize how dum it was and how close to death i was. If one of my friends of myself would of died i dont know what i would have did. In a way i was being selfish i dont know what my family would have did if i died. It is important if you did it to share your story. It was such a retarded thing to start and i will never forgive myself. It something to not even try. Well that was my story.

  21. Thank you for sharing your incredible story, Ronnie! I am glad you are still alive. I hope you will feel better soon and stay away from the stuff.

  22. Dave,
    I want to thank you so much for posting this. My name is Jeff Williams and my son, Kyle Williams, died March 2nd 2005, from huffing Dust Off. There is a letter I wrote about it on It is so important to get this information out. What alot of people dont know is that dust off and other products like it do not contain compressed air. They contain a compressed gas. When this gas is compressed in the can it turns into a liquid. which is what you feel in the can. As you spray it, it the goes back to its gas state. This is the same gas used in most arosols, which is why they are also used for huffing. Dust Off products just contain the propelland without any other product, ie hairspray or cooking oil, in it. Alot of parent, will inhale helium from a baloon to show off for their kids. I have done it also. Now I wonder what I really tought my son. The main thing is that parents know the signs of abusing this. They are so slight that they are hard to see. They are dizzyness, passing out, throwing up, complaining of their tonge’s hurting and of course DEATH. Since I didnt know the earlier signs I coulnt stop him from dieing. He had only learned about it two weeks earlier from a “friend”. If you dont mind I would like to use some of your story and replies in talks I do about Kyle. Please let me know if that is ok. Thanks . Jeff Williams

  23. I am an attorney in California hired by the family of a child who was addicted to “dusting” and died as a result. Honestly, I had no idea the problem of “dusting” was so widespread and dangerous until I began to research the issue for these clients. This site has been extremely helpful, but I would appreciate further information which could help me in this matter. Any help would be appreciated. Specifically, I would like to see evidence as to whether the manufacturers and/or retailers who sell this product know that it is being misused as a way to get high. Has anyone successfully sued these parties as a result of injury or death to a child? Action must be taken to force these parties to protect our children by restricting the sale of their product to minors, issuing adequate warnings of the potential harm of “dusting,” and/or reformulating the product to make it safer (perhaps giving the gas a noxious odor or taste). I find it particularly reprehensible that this product is readily available in video game-trading stores, where it is easily available to minors. So far, I have spoken with several spokespeople and attorneys for the manufactuer and retailers of these products and they tell me they have never heard of anyone misusing these products. Given the heartbreaking stories I have read here and on other sites, I cannot believe that is true. Although my clients will never be able to hold their child again, I know it will give them some consolation knowing that they have done what they could do to prevent this tragedy from happening to one more parent. Please feel free to e-mail me at or contact me directly at 619-528-2255.

  24. hello, i am 14 and i have tried dust off many times, i knew it was dangerous after my 2nd time, when my freind passed out. i later looked it up and read it coulld kill you, i didn’t beleive it because it seemed so dumb, how could somethin randomly kill, it makes no sense. i have read many cases of death by dust off and all cases were simalar, the user was alone and stationary. out of all the 52 cases the user was alone and stationary. i decided that i would still use it as long as i have people aroud to laugh with and area to run and go crazy. not one place, except here, have i heard anything right about the high. sites against dust off never have their info right, and i know cause i do it. thay always say that all that happens is you get dizzy for 10 seconds. i am sorry to say this is terribly rong. when i do it i feel drunk and high at the same time(i know what that feels like) for anywhere from 50 seconds to 10 minuts, dependin on how big the hit. i have passed out once. it was the only time that i was sitting and doing dust off and i burnt my toung and then passed out cold. i will continu doing dust off until i get real info on it that i can trust, not stupid stuff about 10 second dizzyness, how do i trust someone giving faulty info? this is what i have said, goodbye!!

  25. today, i decided to quit, because i found myself going to the park(where we always do it) and looking in the bushes for the startrek(what we call dust off) that my freinds lost two weeks ago. i then relised i was starting to get addicted, and i didn’t like it, so i quit. i never though i would ever get addicted, maybe i was just bored.

  26. I’m doing a paper on use of Dust-off as an inhalant and have been searching for info about it. I came upon this page and have read most of the comments following. The one from Joe Leone really stuck out to me. Even though he said he has quit, I think he should check out this website:
    This website should satify Joe’s search for accurate information about inhalants. I don’t know how else to get this to him, so I was hoping you could send a reply to him so that he would actually see this.
    Thanks! If it helps anyone, then that’s all that matters!

  27. I can hardly believe what I am reading. This scares the HELL out of me! What are kids these days doing to themselves? I grew up in the 80’s when “Rush” was popular. It was sold in tobacco shops as a liquid air freshner. I’m sure some of you remember that crap. i tried it once and it litteraly put me on my -SS!! I never did it again and I rode my friends butts for doing it too! I was around 15 at that time. It wasn’t very long after I remember my friends started smoking marijuana. Of course I tried that and I did NOT like it! I decided to stop running with those guys because they seemed to be moving on to bigger and “better” things.Only 4 of the 6 of us remain. Two have passed, both from drug abuse. Looking back on it all it seems like these things are stepping stones, continuing to lead to other things. I was fortunate by the grace of God to have NOT liked any of the things I tried. My heart goes out to everyone who has a family member or friend who has any kind of addiction. Today……..I miss my friends.

  28. I read your story because recently I found out that my brother was using dust-off. He has a reaction that makes it look like he’s having a seizure. He’ll lock his bedroom door, and my parents will hear this animalistic screaming, they’ve found him on the floor. He knows this can kill him, yet he continues to use it. He’s told me a few times he was done with it. Today I went over to my parents house, to say “good-bye” to my brother, I told him if he continues, I’ll never know when I say good-bye to him, if it will be the last time. I know he needs help, but he’s 23, and can resist help. He lies to therapists leading them to believe he’s”okay”. What can I do? I’m 27, and trust me I’ve had my days of getting high, never like this, I’ve been straight for about 6 years. How can I help him? I’ll take any suggestions. I just can’t watch my baby brother “kill” himself anymore.

  29. I’m Seriously in need of help! My Husband whom is 25,has a really bad addiction to inhaling duster. He had a really bad drug addiction with marijuana and crack, he recently got caught with the crack and got a possession charge, the judge ordered him to drug court. He has to take Drug test and report everyday, so now this inhaling duster habit has became more and more addictive to him. Bc it does not show up on his test. He inhales anywhere from 1-2 in a half cans a DAY. After Inhaling he will randomly talk non-sense, sometimes his words are not understandable,Just Gibberish. The other day he inhaled 2 cans in a 3 hour period, He sat on the porch just talking non-sense to the steps, I asked him why he was talking to the steps and he claimed he wasn’t, that he was”talking 2 them”(thinking his old buddies from school was standing there). He Kept spiting on himself.As comical as this sounds,its very scary. Sometimes he just curses away at the walls trying to fight it, thinking it is a person. He will sit for hours on the couch inhaling and laughing and screaming at nothing. Very Annoying,when your trying to watch TV.He will pass out for 2-3 mins at a time, wake up and inhale more. He looses his balance, and passes right out every night from inhaling. I always stay up for hours afterwards just to make sure he is still breathing. I have talked to him about how it scares me and I wished he would stop. But he refuses,and says not to worry that he is being safe when he does it. How safe can u be when u inhale such a fatal chemical, and inhale so much in such a short time frame. I am so scared that 1 day i will come home from work, and he will be laying there dead. I dont know how to get thru to him, i have warned him of the dangers, he just wont accept them into reality. How do u Help some1 with such a fatal habit, whom has a long history of being an addict of other drugs? Someone who is stubborn and wont listen to no one. I dont want to come home to a dead husband.

  30. Amanda, I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. Although I haven’t heard a reply from anyone yet, I figured I’d write back to you, so you know someone out there is listening. You need to let your husband know that even though he thinks he know’s “how to use this safley” he doesn’t! I’ve read that it doesn’t matter how much or how little you take in, at anytime it could be his last. Do you have any family members who know what is going on? It helps to have other people to talk to. I have my parents, as far as I know, my brother hasn’t used it in a while, but we never know when to believe him. This is a deadly drug, it’s scary that something you can buy almost anywhere could do the damage that it can do. If you go online and just type in “dust-off” tons of information will come up, you should read it, after all, if you can’t educate your husband right now, you can at least educate yourself, thats what I’ve been doing with my little brother. IThen if the situation comes up, you can try to relay some of what you’ve learned. Good Luck Amanda, be in touch, Kerry

  31. Thanks Kerry I expressed my feelings on this matter to his mother and then we both sat down and talked to him about it. I told him everything that i had read so far. Glad to say….. 🙂 He has stopped. Its Been 2 days so far, and I hope it remains this way. Thank you so much for your response. 🙂

  32. Just had my first experience with someone “dusting” last night, it was scary. My boyfriend (who will soon be my ex boyfriend if he does this again) found a can I had for the computer; I was almost asleep and I hear crashing and breaking glass; I go to the kitchen and he’s on his knees surrounded by broken glass (must have pulled the tablecloth off when he fell and took everything with it) there was a vacant look on his face, and I thought he was having a seizure (I didn’t know at the time it was the Dust Off). I helped him up and he was talking nonsense and walking thru the glass like he didn’t know it was there; the stuff that was coming out of his mouth was nonsense, but he looked angry. I made him sit down in a chair and he came back to normal after a few seconds. I was REALLY scared at this point, thinking he’s having a stroke or something, had no idea he was huffing the stuff. He got back to normal and I went back to bed, and a few minutes later I hear him yelling; by this time I am convinced that something is REALLY physically wrong with him, till I see the can of Dust Off on the kitchen counter; I picked it up and it was cold, and right then I knew what he was doing; my heart SANK; when he came back to normal THIS time, he swore he wasn’t doing it, and stupid me, I believed him; I took the can and buried it in a laundry basket (just in case) and calmed myself down, and went back to bed AGAIN (I had to work today, he didn’t); back in bed, a little while later I hear these awful snoring noises coming from the living room; I jump out of bed AGAIN, and find him slumped over in a chair making these Godawful noises; I start shaking him and finally he opens his eyes, I ask him if he knows where he is, what day it is that kind of stuff, cause at this point I still think he’s having some sort of seizure or something, and the can falls out of his lap.
    So now I know he’s doing it, and I am devastated; he apologized over and over, and says it will never happen again, but I think something is broken between us that can never be fixed; I have never been so scared for someone, and to find out he is doing it to himself? I can’t take the chance he’s going to kill himself on accident in my apartment, and I can’t watch him 24-7 so back to his parents he goes.
    Sorry this was so long, but I have no one to talk to about this, and I am just sick about it.

  33. Laura I know exactly what you mean by all that you had wrote. My Husband Told me He was going to stop, and he did. That didnt last long tho. Maybe 4 days or so. Sad to say it is an addiction. I know how freaked out you were with your first experience. Im freaked out, every experience with him. Apparently it didnt work on my behalf, But maybe on yours, Talk to him about the dangers of it. Tell him how much it scares you, and that it is a fatal chemical. When Dealing with a person who is huffing personally, you feel kinda helpless, like ” what the F– do i do…?”( to help). Just try to talk to him about it. I hope you have better luck than I. Good Luck. If you need to talk or something, you can email me at

  34. I lost my daughter to dusting on Aug 27, 2006 maybe you could share this website with your loved ones and show them what will happen to them one day if they continue using dust off. I would suggest they go to a 12 step program.

  35. Jon, your website was beautiful. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I will pass it on to my younger brother. You and your family are in my prayers. Kerry

  36. hey im 15 i just recently tryed dust- off but that was before i knew what it did to u. my story isint the same as yours but i can relate to not wanting to touch another drug in my life .. i took it a little while ago while walking and out of the blue i woke up about 20 minutes late for class with a huge scrape on my arm i had fell into a rusty old fence and tore my arm apart.. so basically what im saying is after your story it makes even more sence to me not to do anything else thanks alot bye

  37. Hello Dave, I am a junior at Mead High School in Spokane, WA and I am writting an article on dusting for our school magazine. I was wondering if you would be willing to answer these questions for me. I realize that you already answered some of these questions in your story, but if I could have you answer them again so that I can have them in my notes, it would be appreciated. Thank you so much for your time.
    1.Have you heard of a form of inhalant called Dusting?
    2.What do you know about this issue?
    3.Have you ever encountered someone that was close to you that had used a form of inhalant?
    4.What were some of their behavioral characteristics?
    5.What would you recommend a student should do if they know of someone that is dusting?
    6.Do you think that the companies that make Dust-Off or the stores that sell them could be doing more to prevent this from happening?
    7.How would you suggest that we deal with this problem?
    8.Some school boards and law officials are worried that publicizing the practice might encourage others to try it. What would your position be on this topic?
    9.What haven’t I asked you that I need to?
    10.Would you like to add anything else?
    thank you again for your help.

  38. See it all started when I met a new group of friends, they were huge into secretive drugs, while I was mostly doing sh*t like weed and coccaine, which I am quite thankful to have gotten off of without any aid from anyone else, I am proud to be one of the strong. Though I do have a problem with dust-off, I am trying to still get off it, it had been in one of those kids houses, where they busted out 4 joints, and the four of us hit at them like no tomorrow, and the biggest guy there came up and said, hey wanna hit some dustoff? I’ll teach you how. He held the nozzle to my mouth, and I said ready, it pulled the trigger and I felt the cold liquid flow down into my throat, and this buzzing sound would echo around me like a fan stuck in my head, though it was irritating there was some odd sensation to it, an ecstacy of sorts, after that I came back the next day with my own can, and shared, I ended up falling from a window two stories up balconie actually, and fallling down the steps simirly to the guy that had also gone down the steps, I had been near death, however it did not end there, I continued to get dustoff as a habit, and I ended up doing it while driving, I could feel bumping all around as I began to black out, I hit a reflector and with the last of my consciousness I yanked the wheel and flew across the road, I ran a stopsign over, knocked a telephone pole over abit, ran a tree flat over, it was about two feet in diameter, went through four bushes, then through a mail box and followed by a fence, after that the car jumped down a 20 foot cliff, and I was out for a good bit, my friend was out cold in the side, and we were in some kind of hole, which was about 12 feet into the ground, after wakeing him up, i helped him get out, and we climbed out, which took forever and we got help, just afew minutes ago I took a hit, and I was thinking, I am going to die like this..I don’t want to die, and I don’t want anyone else to start a bad habit like this, please do not treat yourself like I have done myself, it is nearly impossible to get off a addiction that you really want to continue, so please don’t..I think I am about over the habit, and I think I can quit now, I put holes in the can with a knife, and I think I am fine now. I am only 17 years old, and I really want to keep living, so please don’t do like I have, you may not last as long as I have, I am a very fortunate person.
    [This comment was edited by David W. Boles for content and to protect privacy.]

  39. i think that using dust off is so dumb so i would think twice about using it can be deadly and you never know when you use to much .you can die within 2 second off your hit so think first.

  40. Hi there. I would like to let all know who have tried or are thinking of trying or who use dustoff regularly…. its not worth the risk. I came home one day to find my 16 year old beautiful daughter lying face down dead in our hot tub with a can of dustoff floating next to her just 4 weeks ago. I can not tell you the pain that is left in the wake of the dead. Huffing, is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. My daughter had no idea what she was up against. IT WILL KILL YOU. There is NO thrill worth the rest of your life. The HUNDREDS of people that were affected by her passing is unimaginable. I just have to beg… DONT

  41. Thank you for your fine comment, Kathleen, and also for your dire warning.
    Your pain must be very real and still stinging and I appreciate you coming here to share your truth.

  42. Kathleen,
    Your post just tore my heart in two — we lost our precious daughter Kaitlyn in August 2006 in a very similiar manner — we found her in the bathroom after she passed our from using Dust Off. I can honestly say I know exactly what you are feeling.
    Peace to you and your family,
    Cheri Vallery
    [Comment edited by David W. Boles to remove private content.]

  43. Hello
    So how can you intervene? I have a 19 year old step-daughter that I’m sure has been huffing for some time. She denies it – even when confronted with evidence. I’ve never caught her in the act. Last night she was in a car accident. Lucky for her she just has a broken collar bone and the lady she hit only has a broken leg – it was really ugly. In the floor board of her car I found a can of dust-off. I have not confronted her yet – she is in a good deal of pain but WHAT can I do? I’m know what response I’m going to get. She is killing herself and destroying relationships. How do you help someone who won’t even admit they need help?

  44. i never knew dust off was this bad! i was planning on doing it this weekend b/c my friends do it and say it is really fun after reading all these stories i will never do it and i will make sure my friends don’t either. this site is great and just might have saved my life. thank you

  45. A San Diego 30 year old stepfather to a 19 yr old named Shannon who was addicted to dust off, for all the help we tried to convey, doctors, video tapes about dusting and even trips to the hospital to get her off this stuff, but SHE had to check herself in for help being that she was 19 & considered an adult. Well she passed away last week from her habit, her 17 yr old cousin found her unresponsive in her bed, needless to say 911 had him perform CPR then they did all they could for 1hr 45min to bring her back with no success at the ER. She went to the game stop stores to aquire this dust off, she stole dvds, video games for store credit to buy these cans of death. After we found out where all our stuff was going to, we brought her to these stores and told them not to sell this stuff to her due to it’s potential deadly effect. Well the very store we warned was the one who sealed this girls fate. Her poor mother is in shambles and the family devistated. We are seeking legal action against the store for the blatent disregard. They knew her by face she was in there so much! God bless all and i pray no one will ever have to bear witness to such a sad, scary event.
    [Comment edited by David W. Boles to remove personal information.]

  46. I actually did dust off for my first time earlier today. Now it’s a few a hours later and everything still feels different. I can’t concentrated and my brain feels really weird like it’s swealling i wish i diddn’t try it because now i don’t know if i’ll ever feel the same again.

  47. i have only done it once and i am waondering can i die from it only using it like 4 or 5 time i have done it once as i said but i was just wondering and i would like to kno so i can tell my friends


  49. Linda,
    I am so sorry for your loss of your Son. I lost my daughter on July 25, 2005 for huffing “Blow Off.” I can relate to how you feel. If you ever would like to talk, please feel free to leave a message on this message board.
    My prayers are with your family.
    Maeleen Cardoni

  50. My 16 year old son was just caught huffing dust off at school 2 days ago. He lost consciousness in the school locker room and beat himself up pretty bad when he fell. He told us that he either just passed out because he didn’t feel well or that someone had attacked him from behind, but he couldn’t remember anything. He looked like someone had punched him in his right eye, lips, nose and cheek. He was swollen, bloody, and bruised by the time we got to the school after a call from the principal. A red flag should have been the can of dust off with blood on it sitting on the desk. The principal asked him about why he had it and he said he found it on the floor of his classroom on the way out to use the restroom and put it in his coat pocket to return to the teacher after he went to the bathroom. It struck me funny but I quickly dismissed it and took him to get checked out at the doctor. The principal reviewed all the video tapes of the security cameras to see who had come in or out of the locker room to find the culprit but my son was the only one who entered. His pulse was also very high at the doctors office which the doctor thought was strange for just sitting on the exam table and it would raise significantly when he stood. After putting 2 and 2 together we confronted him on the can of dust off and he admitted it. He swears it was the only time he has done it and he thought it was just compressed air but now that he knows differently he won’t ever do it again. How do I know to trust him on this? Do I treat it as an ongoing addiction and put him in drug treatment? I am scared because my son has been battling depression for years and has no friends. Any advice would be appreciated.

  51. Hi Stephanie,
    I read your post regarding your son. I lost my daugter to huffing “blow off” 18 months ago. I would treat this as an addiction. I would seek treatment ASAP. Also, difluorethene (the chemical that is in dust off) is not detectable on a drug test. I would watch your son very very closely. Do random checks of his room. Hopefully this was a one time thing.
    Good Luck,
    Maeleen Cardoni

  52. Hi Maeleen,
    Thanks for the info. I am so sorry for your loss. It has to be the hardest thing a mother would ever have to deal with. I took him in for a physical at the doctor today and talked with them about it and I am taking him for a substance abuse evaluation tomorrow that I haven’t told him about. I checked his room as best as I could today. What a scary, scary “drug”!! I used to be a psychiatric nurse for years and dealt with all kinds of addictions, but I never thought something like this could be so much more dangerous than all the illegal substances. Is there any way to positively detect if someone is still using this other than by their eyes and behavior?
    Stephanie Howard

  53. Hi Stephanie,
    Yes, there are some other signs to look for: Chronic Headaches, and a runny nose. Also, you can look at the carpet in his room, to check for discoloration.( The discoloration is like an orangy color) Another thing to check for is missing towels, and discoloration in the towels. This is the experience that I have had.
    Good Luck!
    Maeleen Cardoni
    [Edited by David W. Boles to remove personal information.]

  54. Cheri,
    I am so sorry for your loss, also. What a beautiful daughter! I could hardly stop crying after seeing your website. I will show my son your site tomorrow after he has had some time to quit hating me for taking him to a substance abuse evaluation today. I can’t tell you how much it means to me for you and Maeleen to take the time to answer my posts, even though you are hurting. Thank you again for sharing your story. I hope it helps others realize how serious this can be!
    Stephanie Howard

  55. Maeleen,
    Thank you for the tips to look for. He has had many of these recently. The towels are something I found awhile ago and could never figure out what happened to them. Like I said above to Cheri, I appreciate so much you both taking the time to respond to me and give me this information. If you think of any other things to look for or that I could do feel free to let me know. Thank you again!
    Stephanie Howard

  56. In my erlier high school days, I used dust off and became addicted to it. I did not know the dangers, but after a while using common sense I knew I had to quit.
    Dust off should be taken off of the market, Take if from me, I was extremely lucky that I dont have any brain damage and I made it to become an Information Techonogy Specialist (IT guy) take it from my, If I need to clean the inside of a client computer, server or router, I use a low pressure compressor, if I dont have one, a small vacume cleaner set to blow or heres an Idea… Use the Lungs god gave you!
    There is no need for Dust Off, it is simply a danger that should be removed from the shelves of stores where people can and will continue to use it!

  57. Matt —
    I appreciate you stepping forward to share your experience because it is through the experience of others that we learn about danger and threats to our lives that we may not consider.
    I don’t even think adding a “bad taste” or a “bad smell” to the formula will help matters if the initial cause to get high remains in the product.

  58. I am a 15 year old teen who has over the summer ended up inhaling two cans of dust off with a friend. (We shared them, so I guess one each) I’ve never done drugs before this. I got so worried about having brain damage that I talked to my parents, one of whom is a psychologist and reassured me that I was fine. Is there any way of knowing if this had any effect? I still don’t feel like myself.
    If nothing else, this drug has traumatized me and given me anxiety from worrying.
    Anyone thinking of trying this, please, please don’t. What seems like a fun high is so dangerous and if I could go back I never would have done it.

  59. My friends asked me today if I wanted to do this. I am only 14 and I know that this can kill people easy. I told them that, and they said, “Yeah, but if you try it through your shirt you can’t die.” Now, I knew that was true, but I didn’t tell him that. I told him he should stop doing it. He got into drugs recently and he finally realized he was addicted to marijuana. He explained the high you get from Dust-Off in a positive way. It sounded fun! But I know that the consequences in doing it is either to feel good and have fun, or death. Me being me, I came home and looked it up. I found that a lot of kids my age do it. But I think after reading your story and Courtneys, than I will NEVER try it. Unless I have a death wish. Thank you very much. I will have to refer my friends to read this story.

  60. ill admit .. i have dont this many times in the past .. my friend got me into this summer .. but i didnt no that consequences of it .. my friend told me that the only way it can harm you is if you tilt it .. so i thought it was fine .. i admit i loved the feeling ! id used 2 steel it from the local kmart cause they wouldnt sell it to underage kids .. i loved the feeling .. i admit .. i still miss that feeling, but im never going to do it again cause i might be the one 2 die next time i did it .. even tho i have done it 6546845 of times .. the next time could be the time =) thank you for telling me the bad effects of it =)

  61. You’re very smart to give it up!
    It’s true you don’t know when or how you will react — there’s a fine, invisible line between living and dying and there’s no reason to tempt it in your youth when it’s waiting for you in your old age.

  62. ok, when i was huffing, i cant remember anything, and i halusinate, one time when i was huffing i feel of a bench, and the next thing i notice was me laying on the groung, in a tent, with water coming in the tent & stars in the sky, i was picturing this all, and another time i was in the woods and i thought i saw my sisters friend so i dropped down and it felt like i jumped off a a cliff? what makes these things happen to me?

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