Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation

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INHALANT ANALYSIS (BLOOD & URINE)

  • The laboratory tests for inhalants in both blood and urine.
  • Inhalant testing for urine cases should be requested in the case comments section upon submission.
  • The biological sample can be placed in any type of evidence container (bottle or grey topped tube).
  • The most common inhalant the laboratory detects and reports out is Difluoroethane.
  • Some examples of inhalants the laboratory detects are: *Sevoflurane, Methanol, Toluene & Acetone.

*Sevoflurane is an anesthetic and may be given to a subject by medical personnel.

  • Inhalants detected on a person’s breath may cause an “INTERFERENCE DETECTED” response from the DataMaster.
  • General Information:
    • Inhalants are common household products people inhale to get a high.
    • There are over a 1,000 readily available inhalant products.
    • For the most part, inhalants are cheap, legal and easy to acquire.
    • There is a high potential for abuse since inhalants are so easy to obtain.
    • Effects of inhalant use and/or abuse can be irreversible and may cause death, even on the first try.
  • Four main Inhalant groups and examples:
    1. Aerosols (sprays) – (household products)
      • Hair spray, deodorant, vegetable oil sprays & fabric protector sprays
      • Computer cleaning products (“Dustoff” and equivalent products)
    1. Gases – (Household or in medical facilities)
      • Whipped cream in cans, Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), butane lighters, & propane tanks
    1. Nitrites -  (cleaning products or chemical compounds found in food preservatives):
      • Leather cleaner and room deodorizers
    1. Volatile Solvents (liquids) – (business and household items):
      • Gasoline, liquid in markers, glue, paint thinner, correction fluids & degreasers
  • Inhalants are used by:
    • Sniffing   -   inhaling vapors from an open container
    • Huffing    -   soaking cloth with a substance & placing it over the mouth and nose
    • Dusting   -   inhaling vapors directly from aerosols
    • Bagging  -   placing inhalant substance into a bag and inhaling the vapors by placing the bag over the face or head

Suggested Inhalant information websites:

National Inhalant Prevention Coalition Website: http://www.inhalants.org/important_news.htm

Teens experience in documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=392jFOsvpoQ

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