Police: Suspect may be huffing coolant from A/C units - WNEM TV 5

Police: Suspect may be huffing coolant from A/C units

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You've likely heard of people addicted to huffing, or breathing in, vapors from gasoline or household cleaners.

But what about an air conditioning unit?

"Simply inhaling an aerosol container with hydrocarbons can cause the high and delirium many kids are looking for," explains a medical professional.

Investigators believe that dangerous addiction could be happening right here in Mid-Michigan.

Swartz Creek police say someone recently caused $4,000 in damage to seven air conditioning units at the Swartz Creek Senior Center and Perkins Library.

Police say that based on the way coolant lines were cracked, they believe the suspect or suspects were inhaling the coolant fumes.

"It is dangerous," says Dr. Michael Davison.

He's medical director at Covenant Healthcare's Frankenmuth MedExpress.

He's also a former addiction specialist and emergency room doctor.

"I've definitely heard of it but I've never had the experience of treating someone with freon," Davison says.

He is, however, fully aware of the dangers of coolant, which he says can be deadly, depending on the amount of exposure.

"Full thickness burns with significant blistering of the fingers and the lips, the face, burns within the mouth," he explains.

The fumes, he says, can quickly suffocate an individual.

"Freon is heavier than air and freon in the lung displaces oxygen and therefore it causes an asphyxiation."

As for the case in Swartz Creek, investigators say they have possible surveillance video of when the damage happened.

They believe they are looking for two suspects.

If you know anything call Swartz Creek police at 810-635-4401.

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