Posted by Childress on August 19, 2006
Following up on my earlier post, “A Huffing Death from Butane,” there’s this news item from the Scunthorpe (England) Evening Telegraph:
The mother of a village postmistress sold a potentially lethal canister of butane gas to a 14-year-old schoolgirl.
Malcolm Osborne, prosecuting for North Lincolnshire Council’s trading standards department, said an under-age test purchase was carried out at the South Ferriby post office on December 20.
He told North Lincolnshire magistrates the department had been carrying out a campaign to stamp out sales of lighter fuel to youngsters. And under-age test purchases had been carried out at a total of 25 premises – a dozen of which resulted in sales.
Mr Osborne said the department had previously written to retailers reminding them of their legal obligations. And, pointing out the lethal consequences of abusing butane, he said solvent sniffing by teenagers resulted in more deaths per year than the drug ecstasy.
The two 14-year-old girls went into the South Ferriby shop at about 11.45am on the day in question.
“They were instructed not to lie about their age but to give their true age if challenged,” said Mr Osborne.
But no challenge was made and one of the girls was able to buy a canister of lighter fuel containing butane gas.
Let’s hope the publicity helps shopkeepers … and kids and parents! … to better understand what a serious risk huffing poses.