Homemade poisonous gas may endanger EMTs


The Tampa Tribune‘s Keith Morelli reports that homemade poisonous gases, which he says are growing in popularity among those who attempt suicide, are posing a new danger to first responders accustomed to charging in headfirst to prevent suicide attempts.

The lethal-gas-producing mixture of detergents was involved in 500 suicides in Japan last year, about a sixth of that country’s total, Morelli writes.

Now, thanks to the Internet, it’s becoming more common in the United States as well. In the St. Petersburg case Morelli chronicled (as in other similar incidents), the victim posted signs to warn first responders of the hazard, but Morelli implies that it’s easy to imagine a situation in which the victim is not so conscientious.

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Andrew Van Dam