Health

Teen Died From Inhaling Deodorant Fumes, Investigation Finds

| by Nicholas Roberts
aerosol spray canaerosol spray can

A teenager died from inhaling butane fumes from the deodorant he sprayed himself with, a months-long investigation has found.

Thomas Townsend, 16, reportedly refused to bathe, instead preferring to use large quantities of deodorant aerosol spray.

“He would not take showers but would stand there with a deodorant and spray half the can on him," his mother, Sally Townsend, told The Telegraph. "Then he would spray aftershave to cover up B.O.

“He would go through a can a week. I didn’t know he had so many cans in his room, but he was a big hoarder."

The teen was staying at a children's home at the time. He was found dead by a staff member outside of his room on Aug. 29, 2015.  

Police discovered 42 cans of aerosol products in Thomas' room, many of them empty.

Pathologist Dr. Kareem Aboualfa said there were no drugs or alcohol in Thomas' body. The cause of his death was found to be circulation collapse caused by butane gas inhalation.

Aerosol deodorants contain many toxic chemicals, such as butane and propane.  As LiftBump notes, spray deodorants naturally direct chemicals towards one's headspace, rendering inhalation unavoidable.

The investigation into Thomas' death determined that while he had found it difficult to adjust to life in the children's home, which he had moved to in February 2015, he had no intentions of taking his own life.  He was due to start college a few weeks after he died.

"He sprayed [deodorant] all over himself and succumbed to the effects of the gas," coroner Rachel Redman said, deeming the death accidental.

Sources: The Telegraph, LiftBump / Photo Credit: Wikipedia