Hospilisations for teenagers suffering from chroming sickness have increased for the fifth straight year as a teacher's call to ban an aerosol deodorant linked to the devastating habit goes unheard.

Hospitalisations have increased by 40 per cent among people under 19 and are up 11 per cent overall from the 2018/19 to 2019/20.

There were 115 people put in Queensland hospitals 157 times due to chroming, 63 of them were 19 years and under.

It is the fifth straight year of increases in hospitalisations of people under 19.

Brisbane schoolteacher Majella Ritchie has been educating children and politicians about the dangers of the activity for years, she said ingredients in a particular deodorant need to change and should be locked away until they are.

A discarded deodorant can found at a Brisbane train station where there had been reports of people chroming. Picture: AAP/David Clark
A discarded deodorant can found at a Brisbane train station where there had been reports of people chroming. Picture: AAP/David Clark

"Firstly Rexona (needs) to change their ingredients to prevent the deodorants being used in a dangerous way," Ms Ritchie said.

"Secondly, while the ingredients are being changed, retailers need to remove the items from their shelves and store them in a locked facility."

"Seeing young people begin to destroy their lives by turning to substances due to the lack of support absolutely breaks my heart."

"These are our future generations, and many people are quick to judge and label these children as a minority group that we need to disregard."

A deodorant can left lying near a children’s playground. Picture Glenn Campbell
A deodorant can left lying near a children’s playground. Picture Glenn Campbell

Queensland Children's Hospital Emergency Physician Dr Daniel Bodnar has seen the increase first-hand with children as young as 12 hospitalised for chroming related illness.

"What really worries me is the long term effects, these solvents are like paint strippers, and much like a paint stripper melts the paint off a paint brush, that's what it does to people's brains," Dr Bodnar said.

"It literally melts the special lining of the nerve cells in the brain which leads to major problems down the track like they can't think properly and their IQ goes down," he said.

"The brain is very slow to heal and the idea is the more exposed to it the more likely long term damage will be done," he said.

"It's just horrible, you can actually see evidence of it on scans."

Dr Bodnar says it's not just the brain that's chroming can irritate the lungs, eyes, mouth and can also spin the heart into abnormal rhythms which can be deadly.

"It's sad, it's sad to see kids sick anytime but it's sad to see kids do this to themselves, if you do see a kid that has been chroming, make sure they're safe," he said.

"We don't want these kids to be ignored."

Originally published as 'It literally melts kids' brains': Calls to ban common product



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