Safety and Misuse Policy
When Nitrous Oxide is prepared and used by professional in a medical environment then it is done so in a safe and controlled fashion - any attempt at self-medication with laughing gas could lead to immediate death by asphyxiation (lack of oxygen) or at the very least there are serious long-term mental and physical side-effects. What is actually referred as "Laughing Gas" is in fact not actually pure N2O which is what is contained within cream chargers, but is a mix of approximately 70% Oxygen and 30% Nitrous Oxide the dental fear website provides more information on its anesthetic properties find out more here
MISUSE: buying cream chargers as a source of Laughing Gas
The nitrous oxide contained within the nitrous chargers is identical to the gas used as an anesthetic in medical environments which can tempt people to use it as laughing gas. We would like to remind our customers of the potentially fatal consequence of abusing nitrous oxide and the dangerous effects of Nitrous Oxide abuse.
Nitrous Oxide is sold only for the purpose of catering - we do not condone any off-label usage.
The dangers of abusing nitrous oxide are well documented and we have compiled an easy to read list of the long and short term effects of abusing the gas.
We are not medical experts but have sourced the information from reliable sources.
If you or anyone you know has any more quesions regarding the daners and effects a good source of information is Talk to Frank.
Table Of Contents
Nitrous Oxide can cause Oxygen Deprivation
As many members of modern society search for new ways to experience the high that a great number of drugs can give them, anesthetics are becoming more popular to people who use them for this purpose. The use of nitrous oxide in this manner is becoming more popular even though it does not possess the strength that other anesthetics contain. Perhaps it is because of its relative weakness that it is not considered by abusers to be as significant a risk as other pharmaceuticals and analgesics - but they are confusing weakness of affect with lower risk levels, which is not a correct correlation. Although it is weak by some standards it can still produce feelings of euphoria and dramatically affect the behavior of a user.
However, one of the side effects of using nitrous oxide in this way could see the user suffer brain damage. The reason for this is that when it is inhaled if it is not controlled and mixed with at least twenty percent oxygen, the oxygen content of the blood is greatly reduced and this triggers a medical condition known as hypoxia. To achieve the behavioral effect that many crave, larger amounts of nitrous oxide have to be inhaled at the expense of the essential oxygen that everyone relies upon to exist. The brain damage that could follow this action is irreversible. When Nitrous is used in a controlled and professional medical environment it is always administered with oxygen - which is why it is often referred to as "gas and air". It only takes one case of hypoxia to cause permanent brains damage.
Death by asphyxiation
There have been a great number of deaths brought about by nitrous abuse solely due to lack of oxygen. Practices such as putting ones head into a plastic bag of nitrous oxide and securing it around the neck will just ensure that a user is breathing in neat nitro and if this is the case the human body cannot survive without any oxygen for any length of time regardless of the high that can be experienced. There is also the possibility of passing out with the bag still in place over the user's head. Excessive use could also bring about hyperthermia and this could result in a serious condition and lead to further medical complications as well. In addition, it could also result in a fatality if there has been any health problem within the family with anesthetics or in addition to there being an existing medical problem in the genes.
Damage to Nervous Systems
Nitrous oxide has long been considered a safe form of anaesthesia by the medical profession, but research has confirmed that if a person subjects their body to prolonged or excessive use, then over a period of time it could have devastating effects. The nervous system could have severe damage inflicted upon it and the body’s bone marrow could show signs of change and deterioration. The practice of breathing nitrous oxide straight from pressurised tanks is extremely dangerous because as the gas flows it is extremely cold and this could result in the vocal cords being frozen and a user being asphyxiated. The the sudden change of state of the gas can also cause what is effectively frost-bite to the lungs and respiratory system. Apparently it is common at parties for users to inhale through face masks and as this does not enable the required amount of oxygen to be mixed with the gas; again the result could have fatal consequences. Whilst young adults are notoriously cavalier with their attitude towards long-term health risks, inhaling Nitrous poses a very real danger to users.
If you want a quick outline description of the nervous system and its importance then this video may be helpful.
Long Term Dangers of Laughing Gas abuse
Continual use of nitrous oxide initiates a deficiency of vitamin B12 - an essential component of many biological systems within our bodies - in the body and when deficient in this vitamin, amino acid accumulates in the blood supply; this, in turn, can cause any one of a great number of vascular diseases. Furthermore, if used during pregnancy, nitrous oxide can cause deformities in an unborn child. So if there is any chance of a user becoming pregnant, then for the sake of their unborn child this inhalation habit must cease as soon as possible.
Danger of Falling
Abuse could lead to injuries such as fractured bones or concussion being experienced by a user. Many serious injuries have been recorded on people who have fallen from open windows or operated machinery after inhaling nitrous oxide.
Long Term Use Leading To personality Disorders
As well as damage to the nervous system or bone marrow, people who have become addicted to nitrous oxide have suffered personality and mood changes. These issues can continue long after a user halts the abuse. Nausea can be experienced if excessive inhalation is practiced or routinely inhaling straight after meals.
Loss of Control of Bodily Functions
There have been a number of cases of people being taken to hospital unable to walk and having little or no control over their bodily functions. After a number of tests it is determined that over use of nitrous oxide is the reason for this lack of control over the body. Although this does not happen overnight, extensive use over a period of time will always end in this way. It generally starts with a tingling sensation in the feet until a person cannot feel any sensation at all in their feet or any type of pain - the Nitrous Oxide side effects are not immediate and may occur some time afterwards. They are also cumulative in their nature.
Recovery- irreversible damage
Dependent upon the extent of the abuse it can take many months for a person to regain the use of their limbs and once again enjoy the quality of life that they were once used to. However, some damage is irreversible and for the sake of the initial pleasure that nitrous oxide can produce, a lifetime of misery can often become the result if over use or abuse is practiced.
Accidental Inhalation of laughing gas by Hospital Staff
It is not only the people that inhale nitrous oxide that can be affected by the many side effects that can be inflicted. It has been proven that medical staff can succumb to these effects due to their working environment. When used as an anaesthetic, it can be in the air that is inhaled by those working in a close proximity to it. Adequate ventilation is the answer but in many hospitals often this matter is overlooked as budgets become stretched and the cost of essential medical equipment increases dramatically.
For this reason, it is important for those working in an environment where nitrous oxide is in constant use to be tested on a regular basis. Constant exposure over a period of time can ensure that a person will experience similar effects to those of a constant user. The same applies to any worker who has become pregnant and is unaware of the implications of the inhalation of this gas. However, many women wishing to become pregnant have experienced problems after they have been exposed for any length of time.
It has been proven that animals such as rodents can be affected by the short term inhalation of nitrous oxide.
Damage to Hearing
Further side effects can be inflicted upon people with hearing problems as anybody suffering from damaged ear drums or middle ear disease could lose their hearing completely if they are constant users of nitrous. In addition, extreme stomach pain could be experienced.
Permanent DNA Mutations
Further tests have revealed that lengthy exposure could have an effect upon a persons DNA. It has not been confirmed how long a person has to be exposed before this affect takes place but anything longer than two hours could have an adverse outcome as can repeated exposure.
It is advisable that vegans do not become exposed to significant amounts of nitrous as their diet will be lacking in B12, unless a supplement is taken to compensate for this shortage. As previously stated, pregnant women are vulnerable and continued use could affect their unborn child.
Nitrous oxide, as an anaesthetic, has four stages from drowsiness to an unconscious state. In between there is a state of euphoria and excitement that is what most users are hoping to achieve but with the euphoria accompanies the need for more and excess can result in lack of consciousness followed by a coma. A coma induced in this way could ensure that a user stops breathing. Once again, this starves the brain of oxygen and could have a fatal result if a person is alone or medical help is not sought very quickly.
The reason that a patient is advised to consume nothing but water for twelve hours prior to having a general anaesthetic is that side effects can ensure that nausea and vomiting could take place. In addition, if a person is unsupervised they could inhale their own vomit and choke to death. A user of nitrous oxide could be affected in the same way, so losing consciousness and choking are just two realistic options if extreme care is not practiced.
So, what starts out as a recreational high could very easily end up an addiction as many people have found out to their dismay. Simply put, there is no point in feeling full of remorse when confronted with the hospital bed surrounded by monitors. Life is precious and there are many ways to overcome the adversity that we all encounter from time to time without inflicting the many side effects on our bodies that accompany the different types of abuse. Alcohol, tobacco and any type of drug can only have an adverse effect on a person’s quality of life and in many cases cause an early death. We all owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to care for the body that we have been blessed with, and any deviation from this will have a devastating affect upon us all.
Laughing Gas in the Media
These media stories illustrate the very real dangers and how seriously the matter of Nitrous Oxide abuse is taken by the authorities.
Laughing Gas is Not a Joke - The Sun
Police Issue warning over 'Legal High' - Telegraph and Argos
Drugs Survey Shows rise in Laughing Gas use - BBC
Lethal Laughing Gas Abuse - Sydmoth Herald
Latest article on Hippie Crack in the Telegraph
Laughing gas alters brainwaves IFL Science
Latest Opinion in the Guardian
We will only sell nitrous oxde refills to people over the age of 18
We will only sell you Nitrous Oxide (Cream chargers) if you are over 18 and do not intent to supply to anybody under the age of 18
We will not sell to you if we suspect you intend to misuse our products
There are safety data printed on every box - please read before using
Cartridge under great pressure. Please use in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Non-aerosol. Recyclable steel. Volume 10 cm3. Contains 8gm Nitrous Oxide UN1070 (E942) under pressure. Gross cartridge weight - 28g. Colour - Silver. Do not pierce. Never dispose of full cartridges. Keep out of reach of children. Explosion danger - 50C max temperature.