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A bigger Gas Crisis but this one Whipping up is nothing to laugh about

Residents in Bushey this week posted a strange canisters left lying on a grass verge at the side of a pathway.

It turns out that these are the Large Industrial Variety of the smaller gas canisters originaly used for recreational purposes.


They were found at the entrance to a foot path that runs for a couple of hundred yards to the Moatfield, near a play area of a junior school. The actual park has childrens play areas and several football pitches.

Nitrous oxide is mainly used by the hospitality industry for whipped cream and some soft drinks.

Although, in recent years, has seen a growing use of the ‘hippy crack’, where the gas is placed into balloons, and inhaled. It’s sometimes used before dental procedures for relaxation and reduce anxiety.

These medium-sized canisters mainly used to hold nitrous oxide. Prolonged use of nitrous oxide causes significant loss of vitamin B12, causing brain and nerve damage.

Common short-term side effects include:

  • excessive sweating
  • shivering
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

The sale of nitrous oxide for its psychoactive effects has been illegal since the Psychoactive Substances Act in 2016, but it is not currently a crime to be caught in possession of the gas.

Outlawed in 2016

Reclying issues

Just last month on 29 July, letsrecycle posted an article “Waste and recycling companies are growing increasingly concerned about a rise in the number of gas canisters appearing in waste and recycling streams as they can explode when processed.”

Both operators of materials recycling facilities (MRFs) and energy from waste (EfW) plants have voiced concerns and said the rising number of canisters is posing a health and safety risk as well as increasing carbon emissions at EfW plants.

One of the companies that sees canisters coming in to its MRF is London-based Bywaters. A spokesperson explained that “not only are they not recyclable at the MRF, but they cause a risk coming through the process.”

Some people have died due to using the substance.

For more information, please visit or contact Project 3 by calling 01302 640032.

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