CONCERNS have been raised after potentially lethal ‘laughing gas’ cannisters have been found across the city, including a near a primary school.

Discarded nitrous oxide cartridges were found in an alleyway nearby the school, believed to be Nunnery Wood Primary, by Independent Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the West Midlands region James Carver.

Elsewhere, residents report seeing the cartridges on Rainbow Hill, Ambleside Drive and previously, in July, dozens of cartridges and a balloon were also found in the car park next to the Ketch Viewpoint, in Worcester.

Although, they were found near the school, there is no suggestions that the students were responsible.

Following the discovery, Mr Carver has raised concerns that teenagers are ignoring the dangers of inhaling the drug, widely known as laughing gas.

Mr Carver, who is calling for a public information campaign and education in schools about the dangers of inhaling laughing gas, said it was “disappointing” that young people were not heeding the warnings or understanding the risks.

He added: “Inhaling gas for a laugh is never an okay thing to do and especially if mixed with drink and drugs it can be even more dangerous.

“It has the ability to, in effect, freeze your lungs and replace your oxygen with nitrous oxide. The result could be like drowning – imagine how petrifying that would be.”

The drug, also known as ‘hippy crack’, was one of the ‘legal highs’ banned by the government in 2016.

Despite the ban, it remains available online and is still being inhaled by people.

The gas is used for pain relief during dentistry and childbirth, in engines to increase their power output and for prolonging the shelf life of products such as whipped cream.

But inhaled, the gas produces effects ranging from relaxation to euphoria, and heavy or long-term use can cause anaemia, nerve damage and for the lungs to collapse.

Inhalation direct from a canister can also cause frostbite of the larynx. Industrial-grade nitrous oxide may also contain many harmful impurities.

The risk is greater if nitrous oxide is consumed in an enclosed space or if a substantial amount is rapidly used – it will kill if inhaled for 10 minutes.

Around 17 deaths in recent years across the UK have been related to the inhalation of laughing gas.

Have you seen people ingesting laughing gas or the cannisters littered around the city? Contact or call 01905 742253.