Ethyl Chloride

This is a local anesthetic, CNS depressant, and refrigerant that has been subject to abuse by inhalation. Ethyl chloride has a very high vapor pressure, and spraying it directly into the mouth may freeze the tissues of the throat and cause fatal la-ryngospasm (contraction of the muscles of the throat and larynx), and the shutoff of air to the lungs. Ethyl chloride has been sold in canisters and spray cans (e.g., Black Jack). A related chemical, methyl chloride, has similar effects and was used in refrigerators until it was recognized as highly poisonous in closed spaces.

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