Are Chemicals Being Sold as Perfume?
An Internet warning about muggers who disguise chemicals as perfume to knock out and rob their victims has created concern. Even self-described cautious consumers are forwarding the unsolicited email to family and friends.
?I have to admit it frightened me. I mean, it sounds plausible enough,? said Nancy Carey of Manhattan. Carey said she shivered when she read that robbers in shopping center parking lots were using ether-filled perfume bottles to render their victims unconscious.
The email claims a woman was approached by two men in a parking lot and offered a chance to sample several perfumes.
The woman declined, only to learn later that another less fortunate woman accepted the offer, sniffed the sample and instantly passed out. The alleged perfume was actually ether, and the criminals attacked and robbed the unconscious victim, the email claims.
The email is disturbing. But the more important question is whether it’s real. Can brief exposure to a whiff of ether knock out a victim?
Several anesthesiologists had reassuring answers. Dr. Andy Rosenberg of the Department Of Anesthesiology at New York University Hospital For Joint Disease, said for a substance like ether to work, “You’d have to have a high concentration and put it in a rag that you’d put over someone’s mouth,? he explained.
Rosenberg said it generally takes several minutes to knock someone out. A single sniff won’t do it.
The Internet rumor is just that–a rumor. Even so, there is no reason to accept samples of anything from strangers in parking lots. There’s no better place to buy fragrances than a store you know and trust.