The Public Protection section at Pembrokeshire County Council is warning the public about the dangers of inhaling the substance Nitrous Oxide – more commonly known as ‘laughing gas’.

It follows a health warning from the Local Government Association (LGA), which says that regular intake of the chemical can lead to oxygen deprivation, and that prolonged exposure can cause anaemia, bone marrow suppression and poisoning of the central nervous system.

The Association estimates that about 500,000 young people frequently take this substance and that people have been known to die from its use.

Councillor Huw George, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environmental and Regulatory Services, said the public need to be fully aware of the danger of using it recreationally.

“People need to be aware of the risks that the use of ‘laughing gas’ can present, especially as there have been some fatalities linked to its use,” he said. “It may seem harmless to some, but it is quite worrying because of how harmful to health it can be.”

The sale of these products is regulated by the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985 which makes it illegal to sell such products to under 18s if there is reasonable belief that the product would be misused for the purpose of causing intoxication.

The Trading Standards team at the County Council are urging anyone who has any information about these items being sold to underage people for this purpose to report this by telephoning 08444 77 20 20.