It sounds like an urban myth, but in the case of one British teenager the cause of his death came from an everyday hygiene product.
Thomas Townsend, 16, was found dead in his foster home room from circulatory failure caused by the inhalation of butane gas, according to a report by Fox News.
“He sprayed it (deodorant) all over himself and succumbed to the effects of the gas,” said coroner Rachel Redman in a report filed by News Australia.
According to Townsend’s mother, Sally, her son refused to bathe in the shower and would instead use deodorant all over his body, then spray aftershave on himself for the smell. Police found 42 cans of deodorant in the boy’s room in August 2015, Fox News reported.
“He would go through a can a week,” News Australia quoted Sally Townsend as telling police investigators. “I didn’t know he had so many cans in this room but he was a big hoarder.”
Butane is a common propellant in aerosol sprays, according to the Government of Western Australia’s Drug and Alcohol Office. The government agency’s report of butane says “high levels of use within a short period of time can lead to depressed breathing and loss of consciousness. In this state, a person using butane is at risk of choking if they vomit.”