Is It Safe to Take Air Duster While Pregnant?

Air duster, also referred to as canned air or gas duster is something used to clean electronics that can’t be cleaned with water or liquid cleaning products. For example, it is often used to clean computer keyboards. While it’s called “canned air” or “air duster”, the product actually contains a variety of canned, compressed gasses. When someone presses the nozzle, that gas goes through it. These products are commonly sold as household items, but they are also inhaled as a way to get high. Gas duster fumes that are inhaled can cause psychoactive effects that some people, particularly teens, may find appealing. Air duster is part of a broad class of drugs of misuse known as inhalants. When someone inhales the gases in these products, it displaces the oxygen in their lungs. It also removes carbon dioxide from the blood, causing hypoxia. The result is a sense of euphoria.

When someone gets high from air duster it can cause nausea, headaches, abdominal pain and also violence, hallucinations, and irrational behavior. The “high” associated with air duster is short-lived, so many people will do it over and over again in a short period of time. Someone who misuses air duster may lose weight, become depressed and experience changes in mood. It can also cause damage to many of the body’s systems and organs including the heart, lungs, brain, and liver. Also possible is something called sudden sniffing death, resulting from cardiac arrest.

So, is it safe to take air duster while pregnant? The answer is no. It is absolutely unsafe to take air duster while pregnant. It’s not safe to use any inhalants while pregnant. The risks of inhalants even when used as cleaning products are so serious that many women avoid them altogether while pregnant. When a woman is exposed to certain inhalants during pregnancy, the gases and chemicals can go into the bloodstream of the fetus causing serious or even deadly effects.

Risks of Taking Air Duster While Pregnant

When inhalants like air duster are used during pregnancy, the risks can be far-reaching and damaging. There is something called fetal solvent syndrome, with effects that are very similar to fetal alcohol syndrome treatment. Exposure to air duster or inhalants while pregnant can lead to changes in the appearance and development of the baby. This can include certain malformations of the face, problems with growth, and abnormalities of the brain and central nervous system. Physical effects can include small head circumference and brain size, heart defects and issues with the kidneys and bones. Vision and hearing problems may occur, as can deformities of the joints and limbs. Brain and central nervous system effects can include learning disorders and intellectual disabilities, difficulties with problem-solving and reasoning, issues with judgment, hyperactivity and shifts in mood. Social and behavioral effects of inhalants used while pregnant may include problems with impulse control, poor social skills, problems at school and difficulties getting along with others. Since the effects of inhalants while pregnant are similar to alcohol exposure, the more a pregnant woman is exposed to inhalants, the higher the risk.

Related Topic: Fetal alcohol syndrome treatment

When a pregnant woman uses inhalants, the gases can reduce the amount of oxygen transported to the fetus. Reduce oxygen flow to a fetus can cause deficits or delays in brain development, which leads to many of the effects named above. Certain solvents that may be found in air duster can also cause changes in chromosomes or chromosome damage, and that can make the chances of a miscarriage or stillbirth higher. Even the inadvertent inhaling of certain chemicals and solvents can be problematic. Pregnant women are advised to avoid bathroom cleaners, nail polish and nail polish removers, paint, glass cleaner and oven cleaner, for example.

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Alternatives to Using Air Duster While Pregnant

Air duster is different from something like opioids while pregnant because it’s not necessarily addictive. It’s possible to be somewhat psychologically addicted to the experience of inhaling air duster, but physical dependence doesn’t necessarily form. If a woman uses air duster and finds out she’s pregnant, she should stop immediately. There is no safe amount of air duster or inhalant exposure during pregnancy. For women who feel like they will struggle with stopping their use of inhalants, they can get professional addiction treatment. Women are advised to avoid certain cleaning products while pregnant as well. In this case, using natural alternatives can be safer to avoid fumes, gases, and chemicals. Inhalants are extremely toxic, and the misuse of these substances can cause neurological complications and death.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.