Knowledge Base:  
Safety Data for Nitrous Oxide

WARNING: Whipped cream cartridges contain nitrous oxide, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Food use only. Do not inhale the nitrous oxide found in whipped cream charger refills. It may cause serious and irreversible damage to your health, including death. United Brands is not liable in any way for injuries or deaths caused to anyone, regardless of age, by the misuse of the products found on this website.

Keep in mind that the chargers are under great pressure. Please use in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Never pressurize a whipped cream dispenser with more than one charger at a time. Non-aerosol. Recyclable steel. Volume 10 cm3. Contains 8gm Nitrous Oxide (E942) under pressure. Gross cartridge weight - 28g. Variety of colors. Do not pierce. Never dispose of full cartridges. Do not take onboard an aircraft. Keep out of reach of children. Explosion danger - 50C max temperature.

RECYCLING - Non refillable, made of 100% recyclable steel. They are safe to put in with your tin cans etc. for collection. Please do not dispose of unused cartridges!

This information is provided for educational use only. This information is not to be misunderstood as legal or medical advice

Medical Info Regarding Nitrous Oxide Use

Nitrous oxide (N2O) was first used medically in 1844 for a dental tooth extraction. Nitrous oxide is still used today primarily in dentistry as an addition to other local anesthetics. As an anesthetic, nitrous oxide is usually administered to the patient via a gas inhaler which mixes the nitrous oxide with oxygen allowing the dentist to precisely control the flow of gas.

Nitrous Oxide, like other drugs, poses the potential for abuse when used as a street drug. Dependence of nitrous oxide is not as severe as that of other drugs, such as opiates and narcotics, however chronic abusers often develop strong emotional dependencies which can be highly destructive to their lives.

Abusive use via inhalation of nitrous oxide can produce a number of harmful side effects. Nitrous oxide is known to suppress the body's ability to absorb vitamin B12. A far more common is injury caused by the release of the super cooled gas from the charger itself. The nitrous oxide found in charger is extremely cold and it is capable of burning the face, nose, lips, tongue, and throat. Death from nitrous oxide use is rare, but is most common when a person attempts to huff the nitrous oxide out of a bag or balloon that has been placed over their head or face, causing them to accidentally asphyxiate.

Legal Information

The possession of whipped cream chargers, or more specifically, the nitrous oxide found in the chargers, is legal in the United States. However, like all products which can potentially affect food safety, is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The possession of "crackers" or any other devices which serve the sole purpose of opening a whipped cream charger is outlawed in a number of states, and the sale of such devices is also prohibited. Nearly every state has passed laws making it a crime to inhale or consume nitrous oxide, or possess nitrous oxide with the intent to consume as a street drug. In most states, it is illegal for minors to purchase or possess nitrous oxide. The FDA also regulates the labeling and distribution of nitrous chargers, making it a crime to sell nitrous oxide for the purpose of human consumption as a street drug.




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