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J Occup Med Toxicol. 2010 Sep 29;5:28. doi: 10.1186/1745-6673-5-28.

Japanese experience of hydrogen sulfide: the suicide craze in 2008.

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Department of Intensive Care Medicine, National Hospital Organization Kure Medical Center, Kure, 737-0023, Japan.


Most of hydrogen sulfide poisoning has been reported as industrial accidents in Japan. However, since January 2008, a burgeoning of suicide attempts using homemade hydrogen sulfide gas has become evident. By April 2008, the fad escalated into a chain reaction nationwide. Mortality of the poisoning was very high. There were 220 cases of attempted gas suicides during the period of March 27 to June 15, killing 208. An introduction of new method of making the gas, transmitted through message boards on the internet, was blamed for this "outbreak". The new method entailed mixing bath additive and toilet detergent. The National Police Agency instructed internet providers to remove information that could be harmful. Of the victims of the fad in 2008, several cases were serious enough that family members were involved and died. Paramedics and caregivers were also injured secondarily by the gas. This fad has rapidly spread by internet communication, and can happen anywhere in the world.

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