Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 8, 2024 ·  4 min read

Chroming: Social media trend of inhaling toxic chemicals to get high takes teen girl’s life

Chroming, a deadly trend among teenagers, has taken yet another victim. An Australian family had to make the devastating decision to take their 13-year-old daughter off of life support after suffering severe brain damage from inhaling spray-on deodorant. They are now speaking out against the trend to hopefully save other families from having to make the same decision.

Australian Teenager Dies From Dangerous Chroming Trend

Esra Haynes was a regular 13-year-old girl, according to her parents. She was an athletic girl, the captain of her netball team, a dancer, and a BMX rider. She had many friends and was well-loved by her family. She participated in the trend while at a sleepover at a friend’s house, where she went unconscious and then into cardiac arrest. They rushed her to the hospital, where she spent a week on life support. It was then that her family had to make the gut-wrenching decision to take her off of life support. (1)

“(She was) so kind, generous, helped everyone before herself always,” said her sister Imogen. 

Her parents, older sister, and two older brothers are completely devastated by her death. This has been the most challenging two weeks of their lives. When they feel ready, they plan to return to her school to do an assembly for the students at their sister’s school on the dangers of chroming.

“I just want to put awareness out there that it can happen very quickly, and we don’t want to lose any more amazing people.” said her brother Seth.

What Is Chroming?

Chroming involves inhaling toxic chemicals through the nose or mouth in order to get a temporary high. These substances can be found in aerosol cans, paint, permanent markers, acetone, hairspray, deodorants, lighter fluid, glue, cleaning products, or petrol, which mostly contain nitrous oxide otherwise known as “laughing gas”. It gets its name from the trend’s origin, when people did the same thing but with chrome-based paint. (2)

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The chemicals quickly pass through the bloodstream to the brain, where the user will feel a euphoric “high”. This can also be accompanied by dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, distorted vision, and even loss of consciousness. The effects are similar to those of alcohol, however, they last only 45 minutes. Some users will take multiple in order to experience a more sustained high. (3)

What can chroming do to the brain and body?

The chemicals in chroming are harmful to the brain, lungs, and heart. They can cause a wide range of physical symptoms including headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, abdominal pain, seizures, memory loss and even death. Chroming can also cause long-term problems with memory, concentration and learning. It is also associated with depression and anxiety. Regular use of the substance can cause physical damage to the heart and lungs, such as inflammation and scarring of those organs and harm the bone marrow. Some of these effects are permanent even after users stop chroming.

“All volatile substances are taken up very quickly in the brain and change the way that messages are sent around the brain,” said Doctor Jeremy Hayllar. “That can lead to loss of consciousness, so this young lad collapsed, [and] vomiting is a kind of response to things going badly wrong and later on the effects can be progressive.” (4)

Who is most likely to participate in Chroming?

Chroming is most common among teens and adolescents. This is because they are more likely to have access to household products like spray-on deodorant or nail polish remover that contain solvents which can be inhaled for a quick high. The popularity of chroming may also be linked to the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Teens are more likely to post pictures of themselves on these sites, which can lead to peer pressure if someone doesn’t have anything interesting or funny to post.

The Bottom Line

If you are a parent to young adolescents and teens, a teacher, or an influential person in a young person’s life, talk to them about the dangers of chroming. Teenagers’ lives across the world are being cut short because of this dangerous trend. When you speak to your teen, talk to them about the dangers of the trend and give them tools to overcome the peer pressure they might face surrounding it. Be sure to give them a secure space to ask questions and come to you if they have more questions or concerns surrounding chroming, other drugs, peer pressure, and bullying. Providing that safe space for them could be the difference between life and death, not just for them but also for their friends.

Keep Reading: Teen girl might never be able to walk again after getting addicted to nangs


  1. Melbourne teen dies in tragic chroming incident, sparking warning over deadly act.” 7News. Ailish Delaney and Bianca Bongato. April 12, 2023.
  2. What Is Chroming? Viral Social Media Trend Of Inhaling Chemicals Kills Teen.” BQ Prime. May 26, 2023.
  3. Chroming: Social media trend of inhaling toxic chemicals to get high takes the life of 13-year-oldNational Post. Lynn Chaya. May 25, 2023.
  4. Chroming will ‘dissolve the brain like melting plastic’, experts warn amid resurgence.” ABC. Rebeka Powell. September 25, 2019.