Refrigerant Huffing: What Is It, and How to Prevent It

The Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) says one in five American teens has used household products – including refrigerants – to get high. Consequences are severe and can result in death – known as sudden sniffing death syndrome.

Refrigerant huffing is becoming more and more common among teens. They extract refrigerant from air conditioning systems by opening the service valve where the refrigerant would be added during maintenance. The refrigerant is captured in a plastic bag or container, and then quickly inhaled before it can be lost.

Signs to watch out for that may signal inhalant abuse:

  • Frequent air conditioning repairs to the same home/neighborhood
  • Low refrigerant charges on equipment that show no signs of leaks
  • Damaged air conditioning units