We have a case involving a juvenile who was driving under the influence of an inhalant (specifically, the can of air that you use to clean your computer keyboard) and wrecked his vehicle. He is charged with deadly conduct due to having a passenger. I am looking for an expert witness who can testify regarding the use of inhalants and the affects of inhalants on the mind/body. Also, need a lab to test the contents of the can if anyone knows one. So far, have not been able to find anyone at DPS lab who knows anything about testing this stuff.
Any help would be appreciated.
Grayson County Attorney's Office
I know that inhalant use and its effects was a big issue in a recent capital murder tried by our office. I don't know the specifics, but you can contact our First Assistant, Karen Bentancourt at our office 956-544-0849. She should be able to help you out.
I also have a dwi on inhalants that recently crossed my desk. Any info on experts would be appreciated.
I did a google search on canned air and found a couple that list the contents as HFC-134a
So then I did another google search on MSDS HFC-134a
MSDS = Material Safety Data Sheet ... the papers that companies are required to keep about chemicals that they use.
I don't know if this was the chemical used in this specific case but maybe you will have better luck with the crime lab if you ask using the chemical name.
Anyway, the first MSDS that I clicked on for HFC-134a says:
CAS Number : 811-97-2
Formula : CH2FCF3
CAS Name : 1,1,1,2-TETRAFLUOROETHANE
Tradenames and Synonyms : HFC-134a
Potential Health Effects ETHANE, 1,1,1,2-TETRAFLUORO
Gross overexposure may cause: Central nervous system depression with dizziness, confusion, incoordination, drowsiness or unconsciousness. Irregular heart beat with a strange sensation in the chest, "heart thumping", apprehension, lightheadedness, feeling of fainting, dizziness, weakness, sometimes progressing to loss of consciousness and death. Suffocation, if air is displaced by vapors
SKIN CONTACT - Immediate effects of overexposure may include: Frostbite, if liquid or escaping vapor contacts the skin.
EYE CONTACT - "Frostbite-like" effects may occur if the liquid or escaping vapors contact the eyes.
ADDITIONAL HEALTH EFFECTS - Increased susceptibility to the effects of this material may be observed in persons with pre-existing disease of the: central nervous system, cardiovascular system.
FIRST AID MEASURES
INHALATION - If high concentrations are inhaled, immediately remove to fresh air. Keep person calm. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Call a physician.
SKIN CONTACT - In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Call a physician. Wash contaminated clothing before reuse. Treat for frostbite if necessary by gently warming affected area.
EYE CONTACT - In case of contact, immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Call a physician.
INGESTION - Ingestion is not considered a potential route of exposure.
Notes to Physicians
Because of possible disturbances of cardiac rhythm, catecholamine drugs, such as epinephrine, should only be used with special caution in situations of emergency life support.
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