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"Dusting" does not require more Nanny State!

By Scott Tibbs, August 5, 2008

Over the weekend, I came across an e-mail forward dealing with the potentially lethal consequences of "dusting" - getting high by huffing from a can of compressed air used to clean keyboards. Before I even read the e-mail, I checked Snopes.com to see if it was real. It turns out that the story of the teenager who died is true. Then I read the whole thing and came across this statement at the end.

We need to get this out of our homes and school computer labs.

I agree. We should ban "Dust Off" because people can be killed by using it to get high. We also need to ban cats, because people can get high on cat urine and have hallucinations about women with extremely large breasts, inspired by the movie Heavy Metal. We should round up all the cats in the United States and kill them to protect people from this very real danger. You can probably tell that I am being sarcastic. Read the next 23 words very carefully.


Sigh. Do we have to have the Nanny State come in and ban something every time somebody finds a new and FREAKING STUPID way to hurt themselves with it? Yes, educate kids about the dangers of doing stupid things. But banning a commercial product that, when used properly, presents absolutely no danger? Shutting down the factory lines that make the product and putting people out of work? Do we need to have Mommy Government run every single aspect of our lives for us?

Argh. I just want to smack people sometimes.

I am sorry this kid is dead. I admire his father for sharing his story, in the hopes of educating people about a real danger. It is not an easy thing to discuss a tragedy in one's life, especially something as difficult as losing a child. Perhaps some lives will be saved as a result of this story being shared. I have no problem with educating people in the hopes of preventing more tragedy. But an act of stupidity that results in tragedy does not mean we need to ban a cleaning product that uses compressed air to get dust out of one's keyboard.

As long as human beings exist, there will be people who do foolish and stupid things and get hurt or killed as a result. Young people will find new ways to get high and some of them will die as a result. The answer is not to ban something every time someone figures out how to misuse a product and harms himself/herself with it. The answer is to educate people about the dangers of misusing household products to get a buzz.