The Bettendorf City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to strengthen its law regarding what types of chemicals cannot be inhaled to also include organic substances.
The chemical inhalation law, also known as the "huffing" ordinance, previously outlawed ingredients found in many household items, such as toluene or toluol, xylene or xylol, acetone, acetate, hexane or ketone. Such chemicals are found in paint thinners, adhesives and household cleaners that come in aerosol cans.
The new law, which had its final reading Tuesday, replaces that language with "No person shall knowingly smell or inhale the fumes of toxic vapors, whether synthetic or organic, for the purpose of causing a condition of euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction or dulled senses of the nervous system."
Police Chief Phil Redington said the city decided to add "organic" to the law because they have heard of people huffing something known as "jenkem." That is a gas produced by allowing feces and urine to ferment in a jar in the sun, then people inhale the gas from a balloon, he said.
Redington said police never have encountered such an incident within the city limits, however.
October 7, 2009