Dust-Off is a brand of dust cleaner (refrigerant-based propellant cleaner, which is not compressed air and incorrectly called "canned air"). The product usually contains difluoroethane; although some use tetrafluoroethane and tetrafluoropropene as a propellant. It is used to blow particles and dust from computer, keyboards, photography equipment and electronics, as well as many every day household items including windows, blinds and collectibles. Dust-Off is manufactured by Falcon Safety Products located in Branchburg, NJ.
Dust-Off was developed and introduced in 1970 by an employee at Falcon Safety Products who discovered that the pressurized blasts used to sound the alarm in the company’s signal horns could also remove dust from photography equipment and film without having to touch the surface.
The Dust-Off compressed gas duster was first introduced to the photography market in 1970, and was marketed as a tool to blow foreign matter from photographic equipment and negatives that would not damage photographic prints during development. Due to the rise of personal computer use in the 1980s, Falcon developed Dust-Off II as a cleaning device to help rid damaging dust and lint from the new technology including screens, keyboards, CPU, and fans.
Recently, the Dust-Off brand has expanded to encompass a line of cleaners for electronic and home office equipment, with a large number of products dedicated to cleaning smartphones, tablets, PDAs, HD monitors and TV screens. Products in the Dust-Off line include screen sprays and microfiber cleaning cloths.
Inhalant Abuse Education
The compressed gas duster product gained attention for its abuse as an inhalant, such as by teenagers in the movie Thirteen. A warning email circulated by Jeff Williams, a police officer in Cleveland, whose son, Kyle, died after inhaling Dust-Off in Painesville Township, Ohio.
Wrestler Mike "Mad Dog" Bell died of an inhalation-induced heart attack brought on by an accidental inhalation of difluoroethane in Dust-Off.
To deter inhalation, Falcon was the first duster manufacturer to add a bitterant to the product, which makes it very unpalatable to huff. The company has also participated in inhalant abuse awareness campaigns with Williams and the Alliance for Consumer Education to educate the public on the dangers of huffing, which includes the abuse of 1,400 different products. Due to these interventions , inhalant abuse has been on a 10 year downward trend.