Health Canada seizes a new type of “popper” containing ethyl chloride in Scarborough, ON

Last updated:

May 9, 2019
For immediate release

OTTAWA – Health Canada seized a new type of “popper” from Homerama Adult Video, 2524 Eglinton Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario, that is labelled to contain ethyl chloride. Ethyl chloride can be deadly when inhaled, and immediate medical intervention is required if this product is inhaled and side effects occur. Side effects of inhaling ethyl chloride include reduced alertness, dizziness, sedation, reduced memory, thinking problems and reduced consciousness-the duration and severity of which are unpredictable.

The seized product, Premium Maximum Impact, is labelled for use as a cleaning solvent. However, the product is being sold as a “popper” to be inhaled for recreational purposes. Health Canada has repeatedly warned the public about the dangers of poppers containing alkyl nitrites. This is the first product Health Canada has seized containing ethyl chloride.

Products containing alkyl nitrites or ethyl chloride that are promoted to be inhaled or ingested are considered drugs and must be authorized by Health Canada to be legally sold in Canada. There are currently no drugs containing alkyl nitrites or ethyl chloride authorized for sale in Canada.

What you should do

  • Stop using this product or any product containing ethyl chloride inhaled for recreational use. Consult your healthcare professional if you have used these products and have health concerns.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you inhale ethyl chloride and experience a side effect such as reduced alertness, dizziness, sedation, reduced memory, thinking problems and reduced consciousness.
  • Report any health product-related adverse reactions or complaints to Health Canada.

Who is affected

  • Consumers who have bought or used Premium Maximum Impact or any product containing ethyl chloride that they have inhaled for recreational use.

Affected products

  • Premium Maximum Impact

Background

“Poppers” is a slang term for products that contain alkyl nitrites or ethyl chloride. Despite being labelled for various uses, such as leather cleaners, room odourizers, cleaning solvents or liquid incense, these products are sometimes inhaled or ingested by consumers for recreational purposes. Poppers may pose serious risks, including death, depending on the amount used, how frequently they are used and how long they are used, as well as the person’s health and the other medications they may be taking. Since it is difficult to control how much is inhaled, people can accidentally overdose.

Ethyl chloride was used experimentally during the first half of the 20th century as an inhaled anesthetic in Europe, but its use was discontinued in favour of safer anesthetics. Side effects of inhaling ethyl chloride require immediate medical care and include reduced alertness, dizziness, sedation, reduced memory, thinking problems and reduced consciousness-the duration and severity of which are unpredictable. An overdose can lead to hypoxia (low oxygen in the tissues), respiratory arrest (not breathing), irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest and death. People with certain medical conditions (such as cardiovascular or respiratory conditions) and those taking certain medications (particularly high blood pressure medications, certain migraine drugs, amphetamines, drugs for erectile dysfunction, opioids and high doses of aspirin) or illicit drugs are at increased risk of serious harm.

Health Canada
613-957-2983
[email protected]

Public enquiries

613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

What Health Canada is doing

Health Canada seized the product from the retail location. Should additional retailers or distributors be identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians as necessary.

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