A 13-year-old girl from Melbourne, Australia, lost her life after participating in the so-called “chroming” trend on TikTok. The trend involves inhaling fumes from toxic substances such as aerosol cans, spray deodorants, or paint containers, an act that has been glamorized under the hashtag ‘WhipTok’ on the platform.
Esra Haynes became a victim of this hazardous practice on March 31, 2023, when she inhaled fumes from an aerosol deodorant. The consequences were dire, leading to irreversible brain damage and cardiac arrest. Despite being rushed to the hospital and receiving critical care, Esra could not be saved.
Chroming Trend on TikTok
The term ‘chroming’ is believed to have originated from the practice of sniffing chrome-based paints to achieve a high. However, the act extends to inhaling various toxic chemicals found in household products like solvents, permanent markers, nail polish removers, lighter fuels, and even gasoline.
While the immediate effects may produce a quick high, the repercussions are severe and can include heart attacks, seizures, suffocation, coma, choking, or fatal injuries, with the potential for permanent organ damage.
The tragic event has sparked a wave of concern among parents and guardians, particularly as the trend gains traction among younger demographics, including Generation Z and Generation Alpha. In response to their daughter’s untimely death, Esra’s parents have initiated a campaign on social media to raise awareness about the risks associated with chroming.
Her father Paul Haynes made an appearance on the Australian TV show ‘A Current Affair,’ expressing his belief that Esra would not have engaged in the activity had she known its lethal potential.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the influence of viral challenges on social media and the importance of educating young people about the dangers they pose. It also underscores the responsibility of platforms like TikTok to monitor and regulate content that may encourage harmful behaviors.