Lourdes Salvador's Column
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Air Freshener Nearly Kills WomanAir Freshener Nearly Kills Woman
by Lourdes Salvador
A 25-year-old woman collapsed and nearly died in the supermarket after unintended exposure to air freshener according to doctors at Sri Gokulam Hospitals & Research Institute, Salem, India.
She suffered ventricular fibrillation, a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm due to butane toxicity from the air freshener.
"Most people don´t realize what air fresheners contain and just how dangerous it can be. Numerous cases of deaths, explosions, and respiratory problems have been reported around the world.
The woman´s husband started cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the hospital diagnosed her with coarse ventricular fibrillation as a result of exposure to air freshener.
Defibrillation paddles were used three times before her heart rhythm returned to normal. Fortunately, in this case, the woman recovered after five days in the hospital.
The air freshener was tested and it as determined that it contained isobutene. According to the US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, isobutene acts on the central nervous system. The potential symptoms of exposure to isobutane include drowsiness, narcosis, shortness of breath, asphyxia, and sudden death from ventricular fibrillation.
Air fresheners have the potential to be quite dangerous. The toxic chemicals they contain, such as isobutene, may accumulate when used in enclosed indoor spaces. Any chance of sudden death from ventricular fibrillation is not to be taken lightly.
When air freshener is added to stale air, it only serves to worsen the air quality and add to the existing odor.
The best way to freshen the air, and the only way to actually reduce odors and pollution, is to increase ventilation and open windows. Free standing air filters or those which attached to the heating and air conditioning also help to reduce stale odors and allergens.
Senthilkumaran S, Meenakshisundaram R, Michaels AD, Balamurgan N, Thirumalaikolundusubramanian P. Ventricular fibrillation after exposure to air freshener-death just a breath away. J Electrocardiol. 2011 Jun 20. PMID: 21696756.
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Copyrighted 2011 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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