The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has drawn the attention of the general public to the adverse effect the abuse of Nitrous Oxide gas, also known as laughing gas has on their health.
Nitrous Oxide gas is used as a propellent and a preservative in the food industry and a medical anesthetic analgesic.
The caution comes after the FDA observed the abuse of the gas at nightclubs and parties in the forms of balloons and canisters to induce euphoria and laughter.
In a press statement dated January 24, the Authority noted that misuse of Nitrous Oxide gas is extremely hazardous to the health of individuals as it increases the likelihood of suffering from blood pressure, heart attack and anaemia.
“Abusers of Nitrous Oxide gas are also prone to the risk of suffocating and loss of consciousness,” the statement added.
Long-term recreational 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 has therefore admonished nightclubs, pubs and party organizers to desist from the inappropriate use of Nitrous Oxide gas in their facilities.
The public has also been urged to promptly report to the Authority on the abuse of Nitrous Oxide gas.
Meanwhile, the FDA has said it is collaborating with other relevant stakeholder agencies to address the emerging safety concerns.
“In the meantime, the” FDA assures 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,” the statement added.