What is chroming, as boy, 11, dies after taking part in viral trend?

Another child has died has died after chroming, also known as huffing (Keiron Crasktellanos)
Another child has died has died after chroming, also known as huffing (Keiron Crasktellanos)

Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington has become the latest young person to die after inhaling toxic chemicals.

The eleven-year-old was at his friend’s house in Lancaster when police and paramedics rushed to the scene. He was officially pronounced dead later in hospital.

His grandmother, Tina Burns, said he died instantly after inhaling toxic fumes, as part of the 'chroming' trend, and he’s not the only one.

In March last year, a teenage girl from Melbourne, Australia, died after inhaling toxic chemicals.

Esra Haynes, 13, died on March 31 after taking part in the dangerous practice. She spent more than a week in hospital before dying.

Her family has since tried to raise awareness of the lethal activity to prevent the tragedy from happening to anyone else.

Esra’s sister, Imogen, told 7News: “We definitely have a mission to raise awareness for kids and anyone that does it.

“We don’t want that to happen to anyone else. We don’t want another family to go through this, it’s absolutely horrible.”

Her brother, Seth, added: “I just want to put awareness out there that it can happen very quickly, and we don’t want to lose any more amazing people.”

What is chroming?

Chroming, which is also known as huffing or sniffing, is when someone inhales toxic chemicals. These include paint, solvent, aerosol cans, glue, cleaning products, or petrol.

Such inhalants affect the central nervous system and slow down brain activity, resulting in a short-term “high”.

The practice is extremely dangerous and can also result in slurred speech, dizziness, and hallucinations. Nausea, vomiting, and disorientation are also side effects.

Furthermore, inhaling these solvents can result in a heart attack or suffocation. Chroming or huffing can also permanently damage the brain, liver, and kidneys.

The American Addiction Centers says chroming is more prevalent among younger people without access to other drugs.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that in the US, around half-a-million people reported use inhalants. The majority of them were between the ages of 12 and 17.

UK-based anti-drug advisory service Frank says there are more than 50 deaths a year involving glues, gases, solvents and aerosols.

The UK Government is planning to ban nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Under new drug-misuse laws, people found with nitrous oxide gas in public could be prosecuted.

If you’re concerned about someone taking part in chroming or huffing, you can call Frank any time on 0300 123 6600 for advice.