Two 38-year-old unemployed Akron women were arrested by in the parking lot after they were seen “huffing” cans of aerosol dust remover in their vehicle. Police had to grab a can from one of the women as she inhaled in front of them.
Police were called at 8:51 p.m. Dec. 20 by a Walmart employee who said another employee saw the occupants of a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am inhaling from aerosol cans.
Four Fairlawn officers arrived and saw several 3M Dust Remover aerosol cans scattered about the car’s interior. The product is designed to clean computer keyboards, audio/visual equipment and other items.
Police asked the driver and passenger to step out of the vehicle. As one woman began to exit, said police, “she picked up a can of dust remover and began inhaling. Officers grabbed the can and she exited the car.”
Inhalants are chemical vapors or gases that can produce mind-altering effects when people concentrate and intentionally inhale the fumes, says the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition.
Medics from the were called to evaluate the women, who did not need treatment. Both women – who have the same address in Akron – were arrested and charged with abusing harmful intoxicants, a misdemeanor.
The driver was released with a summons to appear in court. The passenger was taken to the Summit County Jail on an active warrant for her arrest through Fairlawn Police. Medical staff at the jail, however, refused to take the woman. She was then offered transportation to a hospital, which she refused, so police took her home and released her with a summons.
A total of 10 cans of 3M Dust Remover of various sizes were recovered from the vehicle and placed into evidence by police.
According to the 3M website, the company adds a “bittering agent” to its 3M Dust Remover that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to help discourage inhalation abuse. The company includes a warning on the 3M Dust Remover label that “abuse by inhaling contents may cause INSTANT DEATH or injury.”