The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has issued an alert over the abuse of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) gas at nightclubs and parties in the forms of balloons and canisters to induce euphoria and laughter.
In a statement, the Authority said Nitrous Oxide gas is used as a propellant and a preservative in the food industry and a medical anesthetic analgesic.
The Authority said the misuse of Nitrous Oxide gas is extremely hazardous and includes risks of low blood pressure, heart attack and anaemia.
“Abusers of Nitrous Oxide gas are also prone to the risk of suffocating and loss of consciousness,” it said.
It further noted that long-term recreational use (abuse) of Nitrous Oxide gas could also compromise the immune system, mental and neurological disorders (hand and foot numbness and limb spasms), depression and incontinence.
The FDA strongly admonished nightclubs, pubs and party organizers to desist from the inappropriate use of Nitrous Oxide gas in their facilities.
“The public is hereby urged to promptly report to the Authority on the abuse of Nitrous Oxide gas. The Authority is collaborating with other relevant stakeholder agencies to address the emerging safety concerns,” it added.
In the meantime, the FDA has assured the public of its commitment in ensuring public health and safety through continuous public education, engagement and sensitization of the public on the risks of substances of abuse.