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Air Duster

Medium Risk

Also known as:

Blow Off® Duster Canned Air Dust Off® Endust® Multi-Purpose Duster iDuster® Innovera® Office Depot® The Office Pros Duster Ultra Duster™

An air duster being used to clean a car interior.
Possible Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Getting the spray on the skin can result in a frostbite injury
What to Do
  1. Wipe or rinse out the mouth.
  2. Give a serving size of water to drink.
  3. Rinse any exposed skin with lukewarm water.
  4. Move any exposed person to fresh air.
  5. Call for additional instructions.
If Exposed to Eyes

If someone gets air duster vapor into the eye, there can be immediate burning and stinging of the eyes and eyelids. This kind of exposure requires prompt first aid to avoid injury to the eye(s). If an exposure occurs:

  1. Start rinsing eye(s) with lukewarm water.
  2. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further recommendations.

Important

Air dusters can be abused and can cause serious injury. For more information, see the Air Duster Inhalant Abuse section at the end of this content.

Additional Information

Quick facts about air duster spray:

Air dusters are also known as “canned air.” They produce a blast of air under pressure to clean cracks and crevices that are difficult to reach with common cleaning methods. Although air dusters are great for cleaning keyboards, lampshades, and the center consoles of cars, these devices can pose a risk to your health. For example, air duster spray contains fluorinated hydrocarbons, which can cause irritation to the mouth, throat, and lungs. Getting the spray on the skin may cause irritation and even a frostbite injury.

Calls to the poison center involve people who accidentally expose themselves to the mist or the overspray of air dusters. The spray can inadvertently get on the skin and into the eyes. Sometimes when the user has the can close to their face, vapors can be inhaled into the mouth, throat, and lungs. These unintended exposures typically result in minor symptoms, which can be minimized with prompt and thorough first aid basics.

Skin exposure:

Getting the spray on the skin feels extremely cold and may result in frostbite of the skin if left unwashed. If a skin exposure occurs, remove contaminated clothing and wash the exposed skin with soap and water for 10-15 minutes to minimize frostbite injury. If significant symptoms persist, a healthcare provider should examine the area. 

Accidental inhalation of dust spray:

What happens if you accidentally inhale air duster vapor? Inhaling air duster vapor irritates the moist tissues of the mouth, tongue, throat, and lungs. This may cause the development of a persistent cough, a sore throat, and lung irritation. If someone inhales spray duster vapor, remove the person from the spray area into fresh air. Then, thoroughly rinse the mouth out with water. Finally, offer the affected person a serving of fluids. For those with underlying medical issues such as asthma or obstructive airway disease, the symptoms can be more serious. They may require medical treatments such as humidified air, breathing treatments, and supplemental oxygen.

If any kind of exposure to air duster vapor occurs, call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions.

Air duster inhalant abuse:

Serious toxicity from air dusters may happen when a person deliberately abuses it by concentrating the spray and deeply inhaling the gas to get “high.” Individuals can experience lightheadedness, hallucinations, slurred speech, clumsiness, drowsiness, and euphoria. The symptoms experienced last only for a short time leading to repeated use by the individual to maintain the high. Long-term abuse of air dusters can result in severe symptoms including, difficulty breathing, liver, kidney, and brain damage, heart irregularities, convulsions, and sudden death due to cardiac arrest. If you find someone abusing air duster spray, call 911 for immediate medical attention.

**Note: Don’t forget, every case is different. To ensure you are getting the best information for your individual situation, click below to call or chat. It is fast, free, and confidential.

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