Health: `Instant death' warning on solvents

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The Independent Online
A new, hard-hitting health warning is to be printed on glue and lighter fuel products following new evidence of widespread solvent abuse among teenagers. A report published yesterday claims the problem is being overshadowed by public concern over drug abuse although solvent abuse kills more people than heroin and ecstasy combined. Latest figures show that more than one person a week is killed as a result of solvent abuse.

The research, carried out by the solvent industry, estimates around 25,000 people are abusing solvents every year, but researchers admit that figure is "probably conservative". Manufacturers have responded by announcing the warning to be printed on products - "Solvent abuse can kill instantly".

The labels will be put on items such as aerosols including hairspray, lighter fluid, correction fluid and petrol. Ann Robinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: "The BRC takes the issue of solvent abuse very seriously."