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Deodrant sniffing cases may soon become a thing of the past if negotiations between a prominent antiperspirant brand and a local youth service are successful in the Northern Territory.
The Centralian advocate recently reported the withdrawal of Rexona aerosol cans from supermarket shelves after a spike of inhalant cases among minors became known at the time of the Alice Springs Lightning Carnival. This was the second outbreak in a 12 month period, with the first surge seeing three children admitted to the Alice Springs Hospital in April 2013.
The national brand has since contacted the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS) about the possibility of swapping the chemical component of the product for a non-sniffable material.
CAYLUS Manager, Blair McFarland, said the proposal was 'good news' for the local community, which has a long history of hospitalisations from recreational inhalations. 'Rexona have actually contacted us about changing the propellant in their deodorant, just like the Opal fuel strategy, to make it non-sniffable,' he said. 'Dulux did the same thing and now we don't see people wandering the streets, getting high from sniffing paint.'
It is understood Rexona will travel to Queensland's Mount Isa to conduct a case study after the outback town saw their own inhalant outbreak in January this year.
'People can die from inhaling deodorant because filling up your lungs with anything other than air can cause significant damage. It can also cause damage to the brain and kidneys, but they are long-term effects. The younger you are, the more damage you're likely to cause,' Mr McFarland said.
At the time of publication, Rexona cans remained behind the counter at local retailers.
Source: Centralian advocate