RUMFORD – Police say a Rumford woman’s attempt to catch a buzz from inhaling aerosol spray made them crack open their law books to find a charge to fit the crime.

The woman’s 16-year-old son turned her into the cops last week.

It was the first such incident for Rumford police, Sgt. David Bean said Tuesday afternoon.

He said her son told police about his mom’s huffing – inhaling – CleanSafe Dust Remover at 10:05 p.m. on Feb. 7.

“The offense is not even in our offense list,” Bean said. “We had to look it up, because we don’t have that problem in our town.”

Investigating Officer Jennifer Cramer summoned the woman.

The Sun Journal isn’t releasing her name to protect her son’s identity.

She’s been charged with unlawful use or possession of inhalants. The crime is a civil offense.

“We knew the charge existed, because it is under Title 22, which takes in most of the drug laws, but no one had ever been charged with it here,” Bean said.

The woman will be arraigned April 8 in Rumford District Court.

CleanSafe Dust Remover, made by IQ Products Co., contains its Bittergent Technology to help deter misuse through intentional inhalation of concentrated vapors, according to the Houston, Texas, company’s Web site.

The product was designed and developed in the 1990s for use with desktop computers.

According to its material safety data sheet, the aerosol contains Tetrafluorethane, inhalation of which is “extremely dangerous.”

“Intentional or deliberate inhalation may cause death without warning,” the sheet states.

Bean said police also reported the woman to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

“Anytime there is a complaint involving children where there is any sort of risk or we feel a child’s welfare is at risk, we pass the information on to DHHS and they follow it up,” Bean said.


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