According to the Chillicothe Police Department, there has been an increase in illegal air duster use in the Chillicothe area, leading to addiction, crime and injuries to innocent residents and users.

Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Warren addressed the issue in a social media post last week, after the sentencing of a man from Trenton who was convicted of killing a woman during a car crash where he was found to have been huffing air duster. On the same day, July 2, local officers responded to an accident where the driver admitted to using air dusters while driving.

On July 2, at 6:18 a.m., Chillicothe Police Department reports show that officers responded to a single-vehicle crash at Business Highway 36 and Mitchell Avenue for an accident. According to the report, the female subject was arrested for driving while intoxicated. “The subject stated that she had been huffing air duster and had passed out at the wheel.”

This was the same day that Shawn Yuille, formerly of Trenton, according to Warren’s statement, “was sentenced to 35 years (in prison) for the death of Danette Rardon of Chillicothe, and for endangering the life, body, and the health of the defendant's own daughter. The felony murder charge was brought as a result of Yuille inhaling air duster with the daughter as a passenger while operating his vehicle on Nov. 25, 2017, north-bound on Washington Street.”

The dangers of inhaling air duster, especially while driving was pointed out by Warren in his statement, and he says is clearly evident by the facts in this crime. “The duster caused defendant’s loss of consciousness, and the vehicle traveled through downtown Chillicothe with a wide-open throttle (mashed by an unconscious operator) where he hit Ms. Rardon's vehicle broad-side at approximately 88 mph as she was proceeding from her intersection with a green light.”

Rardon was pronounced dead on the scene, despite the efforts of local emergency services.

A press release from the Chillicothe Police Department notes, the use of air duster is not a new problem in the area, but is increasing.

“Not a new thing but an increase of use in the Chillicothe area has been happening. Officers have been in contact with several people huffing air duster as a way to get high. Officers have worked several accidents to include an accident on 2018 that took a life,” the press release said.

Those using air duster to get high face a list of long-term and short-term side effects, in addition to the consequences to those who they put in danger when using the drug, the police department said.

Long-term effects can include , slurred speech, hearing loss, shaking, vision problems and mood disorders, weight loss, headaches, fatigue, tingling in arms and legs, hallucinations, delayed reflexes, damage to the central nervous system, liver, heart, kidneys and lungs.

Many of the short-term effects are the same, but can be increased with frequent usage. Short-term effects can include: nausea, headaches, dizziness, stomach pains, drastic mood changes, hallucinations, loss of consciousness and more.

According to the press releases from the Chillicothe Police Department, “The air duster high effects depend on exactly what’s contained in the substance being inhaled, and also how much is being inhaled. Since the air duster high effects are short-lived, users will often do it over and over again in a short period of time.”

The press release went on to caution area residents, “Another possible outcome of inhaling air duster is suffocation. When someone inhales air duster, it causes a depression of oxygen levels as the fumes go into the lungs and then the central nervous system. This can make it impossible for the person to breath, therefore they suffocate.

“Also possible when inhaling air duster is something called sudden sniffing death. When someone sniffs air duster, it can cause changes in their heartbeat that then leads to sudden cardiac arrest.”

Warren stated that there is no tolerance for impaired driving.

“Air duster abuse is rampant in this county. The problem is not over,” Warren said. “Stay away from air duster. It's not a safe alternative to any drug. It is deadly, and has killed old schoolmates of mine. It claimed 35 years from Mr. Yuille and his family. It claimed Danette, which tore a hole in the fabric of her family and our community, without warning. Consider yourself warned. Report abusers today.”

For free, confidential help with air duster or other addictions, call 1-888-430-2698 or 1-888-633-3239.