Massachusetts Sheriff Brief: Chemical & Detergent Suicides

Hampden County Sheriffs Dept

  • 26 pages
  • February 9, 2010

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Detergent suicide is a newer method of committing suicide that appears to be gaining in popularity. According to reports suicide rates are on the increase. One method that appears to be on the rise is the use of common house hold chemicals to make a lethal gaseous combination.This combination of ingredients yields Hydrogen Sulfide Gas (H2S).

This new method can clearly be traced back to Japan. At least 500 Japanese men, women and children took their lives in the first half of 2008 by following instructions posted on Japanese websites, which describe how to mix bath sulfur with toilet bowl cleaner to create a poisonous gas. The method has been able to gain popularity due to the internet.

Police, Fire, and EMS should be aware that these suicides typically take place in a confined space like a vehicle , closet or small bathroom. The subject usually places the chemicals in the bucket and mixes the combination together. As the mixture is combined it releases the Hydrogen Sulfide Gas.

In some cases the subject places bio-hazard signs around the vehicle to warn responders. Subjects have also placed duct tape or similar material around the windows and vents to contain the gas.

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