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  #1  
Old 01-18-2003, 08:25 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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What Are the REAL Effects of Inhaling Chloroform?

I've seen this device used in movies from time to time: somebody soaks a cloth in chloroform, holds it over a person's mouth and nose, and the person is instantly unconscious. This technique was generally used to facilitate anesthesia or to facilitate kidnapping.

What really happens when someone inhales chloroform? Can it kill you? How long do its effects last? How do you revive somebody rendered unconscious by it?

TIA
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2003, 09:08 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Chloroform begins to act within a few seconds of inhalation, provided the method of delivery has sufficient concentration and the user takes a deep enough breath. First your extremeties begin to go numb; next your vision and hearing begin to fail. Complete unconsciousness sets in a few seconds later, provided you keep breathing. Recovery generally occurs as soon as the chloroform is removed, though it may be a few minutes before the user feels completely normal. In my estimation, it's certainly possible to facilitate kidnapping with chloroform, provided one is strong enough to hold the cloth in front of the victim's mouth and nose until they are forced to breathe. Chloroform has a very pungent, sweet smell, so even an unsuspecting victim might vaguely realize what's happening, hold their breath, and resist.

As for whether it can kill you, yes, it can. One of the reasons it's no longer used as an anaesthetic today is that people put under sometimes wouldn't wake up. I imagine the cause of death would be heart and/or respiratory failure. Chloroform is also a suspected carcinogen, so repeated use or even long-term exposure to trace amounts may get you in the long run.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2003, 12:06 PM
raygirvan raygirvan is offline
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Chloroform is also a suspected carcinogen

And it's liver-toxic.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2003, 12:11 PM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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Does Ether do the same thing?
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2003, 02:30 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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MSDS for diethyl ether:
http://www.fishersci.ca/msds.nsf/0/0...,diethyl,ether

MSDS for chloroform:
http://www.fishersci.ca/msds.nsf/0/3...t=2,chloroform
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2003, 11:57 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead
Does Ether do the same thing?
Pretty much, but it has the additional disadvantage of being highly flammable.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2003, 01:53 PM
Bongmaster Bongmaster is offline
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Hmmm, so much for using that to help get to sleep at night...
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  #8  
Old 06-17-2012, 04:10 AM
Jake S. Jake S. is offline
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Not to mention chloroform is a biological solvent so it will cause severe irritation/melting of the victims face.
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  #9  
Old 06-17-2012, 08:58 AM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Originally Posted by Jake S. View Post
Not to mention chloroform is a biological solvent so it will cause severe irritation/melting of the victims face.
Which explains why zombies look the way they do...
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:22 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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zombie or no

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake S. View Post
Not to mention chloroform is a biological solvent so it will cause severe irritation/melting of the victims face.
what is a biological solvent?

no it won't.
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  #11  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:30 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
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I don't get it. Why would someone register just to post false information in an old thread?
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:33 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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I don't get it. Why would someone register just to post false information in an old thread?
Because he doesn't know about Yahoo Answers?
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:53 AM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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Because he doesn't know about Yahoo Answers?
How is zombby formed?
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:57 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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According to Wikipedia, chloroform is a solvent and it can cause some people to break out in sores after contact. Not exactly face melting, but there you have it.

eta: brains

Last edited by Darth Panda; 06-17-2012 at 10:00 AM..
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  #15  
Old 06-17-2012, 11:05 AM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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Fingernail polish remover is a solvent too, and there are always warnings on it about possible skin irritation, but I've never seen it affect anyone poorly. I suppose if would be more likely to have a negative effect on mouth and nose and eyes tho. Still, melt your face off? Pish.

Face melting indeed. What a weird zombie.
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  #16  
Old 06-17-2012, 01:16 PM
Ruken Ruken is online now
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I have spilled a small amount of chloroform on myself. No melting occurred.
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  #17  
Old 06-17-2012, 02:36 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
I have spilled a small amount of chloroform on myself. No melting occurred.
I spilled a small-to-medium amount of Klonopin on my brain once, which reduced same to a molten puddle. Others have reported similar results.
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2012, 01:00 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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I recall an interview with one of John Wayne Gacy's (adult??) victims, where one of the results of his assault was that he inhaled too much chloroform and ended up with liver damage. Apparently he reported this to the police and they did nothing much...
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2012, 01:04 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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From Wikipedia:

Quote:
In March 1978, Gacy lured a 26-year-old named Jeffrey Rignall into his car. Upon entering the car, the young man was chloroformed and driven to the house on Summerdale, where he was raped, tortured with various instruments including lit candles, and repeatedly chloroformed into unconsciousness.[115] Rignall was then driven to Lincoln Park, where he was dumped, unconscious but alive, and managed to stagger to his girlfriend's apartment. Rignall was later informed the chloroform had permanently damaged his liver. Police were again informed of the assault, but did not investigate Gacy. Rignall remembered, through the chloroform haze of that night, Gacy's black Oldsmobile, the Kennedy Expressway and particular side streets. He staked out the exit on the Expressway where he knew he had been driven until—in April[116]—he saw Gacy's distinctive black Oldsmobile, which Rignall and his friends followed to 8213 West Summerdale. Police issued an arrest warrant,[117] and Gacy was arrested on July 15. He was facing an impending trial for a battery charge for the Rignall incident when he was arrested in December for the murders.
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  #20  
Old 06-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Malice Malice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
I've seen this device used in movies from time to time: somebody soaks a cloth in chloroform, holds it over a person's mouth and nose, and the person is instantly unconscious. This technique was generally used to facilitate anesthesia or to facilitate kidnapping.

What really happens when someone inhales chloroform? Can it kill you? How long do its effects last? How do you revive somebody rendered unconscious by it?

TIA
In high school back in the 80s we conducted a few experiments on this subject with chloroform from the bio lab, and I can confirm psychonaut's clinical description of the likely effects.

Another possible consequence of smothering someone's face with a chloroform-soaked cloth is that the victim may vomit immediately. Cholorform is a sickeningly sweet smelling, ice-cold feeling vapor that feels like a lungful of wrong.

Inhaling a little will make you pretty loopy in about 10-15 seconds. Inhaling a lot will put you on the floor about as fast. As long as you're not given more, you'll be up in a minute or two, and clear-headed in a few minutes more. After that, you can expect nausea and headaches. And, of course, possible liver damage.
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  #21  
Old 07-23-2012, 01:40 PM
abba149 abba149 is offline
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i used to abuse it
i could not hide my lips
i just told people i burnt it on tea in the microwave

first time I tried it i put a tea spoon on my tongue
i now have a lump on that spot i keep biting

At one point i tried to kill my self with 500Ml
the jars arrived broken
but it all was contained in the Safety bag the company sent them in

So i got a trash bag a pair of scissors put the bag of broken glass and chloroform in the trash bag

put the trash bag on my desk
poked a hole in the chloro bag

everyone in the hospital kept saying
" i do not want to offend but what happend to your face "

Im amaized how fast my face got better or even the fact it kind went back to looking like the way it was

also im astonished that i am not blind
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  #22  
Old 04-05-2015, 12:56 AM
Pokestar X Pokestar X is offline
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"Recovery generally occurs as soon as the chloroform is removed"

What do you mean removed? like surgically?
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2015, 01:26 AM
Mosier Mosier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokestar X View Post
"Recovery generally occurs as soon as the chloroform is removed"

What do you mean removed? like surgically?
What in the world could you have googled that led you to this thread?
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2015, 01:41 AM
Ignotus Ignotus is offline
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Repetitive hallucinations. For every inhalation, you think "hey, what is that - I've seen somethin like it before" - and then utter your new comment. Which will, subsequently, be added to the stack. And relived.

And I speak from my own old experience.
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  #25  
Old 04-05-2015, 06:25 AM
Habeed Habeed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
he inhaled too much chloroform and ended up with liver damage.
Permanent liver damage? I thought the liver could regenerate from most insults. This is why it takes so long for it to fail even for an alcoholic (apparently it takes about 10 years for cirrhosis to kill you, and if you stop drinking at year 8 it will apparently regenerate)
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  #26  
Old 04-05-2015, 09:00 AM
FluffyBob FluffyBob is offline
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Am I the only one that finds abba's tragic poem/story jaw dropping?
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  #27  
Old 04-05-2015, 09:54 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBob View Post
Am I the only one that finds abba's tragic poem/story jaw dropping?
Zombies are like that. They sorta drip jaws and other minor body parts as they shamble along after revival after revival forever into the future.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-05-2015 at 09:55 AM..
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  #28  
Old 04-05-2015, 10:00 AM
minor7flat5 minor7flat5 is offline
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Zombie or no...

The subject reminded me of this guy, who allegedly increased the throughput of the nursing home he worked at in NYC by poisoning the patients in 1915.
His method of choice was chloroform. He had tried arsenic but they didn't die nicely, so he changed to the alternate (and hard to detect) treatment.

NPR has posted the relevant chapter from "The Poisoner's Handbook': CSI's Jazz Age Roots" by Deborah Blum.

This seems to corroborate the caustic angle, though no Indiana-Jones face melting, still it seems a relevant side effect...

From Chapter 1: Chloroform
Quote:
Mors had told police that he'd put too much chloroform on the rag used to kill one elderly man. The caustic liquid left raw red marks around the man's mouth. The embalmer alarmed him by asking about the marks of injury. From then on, according to Mors's confession, he'd spread Vaseline around the patients' mouths before applying chloroform.

The embalmer promptly corroborated Mors's statement. He remembered being startled by that uneven red scoring of the skin. He'd seen chloroform burns on the faces of patients who'd died during surgery. Mors had told him a cloth used to tie the man's mouth shut after death had rubbed the face raw. That had puzzled the embalmer. The home had never done that before. The marks didn't really seem to match with a cloth burn. But after all, it was just another old man dead. And the next body showed no such signs of damage, so he'd let it go.
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  #29  
Old 04-05-2015, 10:08 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBob View Post
Am I the only one that finds abba's tragic poem/story jaw dropping?
Nope. It was quite chilling, in fact.
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  #30  
Old 04-05-2015, 01:16 PM
albino_manatee albino_manatee is offline
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225,315 views

now that's scary!

Last edited by albino_manatee; 04-05-2015 at 01:17 PM..
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  #31  
Old 04-05-2015, 03:24 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albino_manatee View Post
28 replies
225,315 views

now that's scary!
Spread over the 12 years this thread has been sitting here, and given we're talking about a drug of potential abuse, it seems like a reasonable number. I wonder how many views were search engines just cataloging the page?
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  #32  
Old 04-05-2015, 03:27 PM
grude grude is offline
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Why do they put cloroform in cough syrup?
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  #33  
Old 04-05-2015, 03:51 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBob View Post
Am I the only one that finds abba's tragic poem/story jaw dropping?
I was trying to work out what tune it fits to.
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  #34  
Old 04-05-2015, 05:07 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grude View Post
Why do they put cloroform in cough syrup?
Back in the old days, some formulas did contain it. My guess is that it was to make it smell and taste bad; back in the day, many people believed that the worse a medicine tasted, the better it worked.
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  #35  
Old 04-06-2015, 02:59 AM
si_blakely si_blakely is offline
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Originally Posted by Habeed View Post
Permanent liver damage? I thought the liver could regenerate from most insults. This is why it takes so long for it to fail even for an alcoholic (apparently it takes about 10 years for cirrhosis to kill you, and if you stop drinking at year 8 it will apparently regenerate)
Nope. Once you get scarring in the liver, it stays. The liver can recover some function with care and management, but the scar tissue does not revert to functional liver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
Generally, liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but treatment could stop or delay further progression and reduce complications. A healthy diet is encouraged, as cirrhosis may be an energy-consuming process.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirrhosis#Management
The liver can regrow from some forms of physical damage, but scarring due to chemical damage (such as toxic chemicals, alcohol or fat buildup) isn't one of them.
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