Coroner: Huffing death of York woman ruled accidental

John Joyce
  • Christina Hoober died April 7, York County Coroner Pam Gay said.

A York woman who died after spending several hours under evaluation in Memorial Hospital's emergency room April 7 had been huffing duster spray, according to a York County coroner's report.

The death has been ruled accidental.

According to the report issued Tuesday, Christina Hoober, 39, of Mount Rose Avenue in York City, was arrested by probation officers at the Motel 6 at 323 Arsenal Road on probation violation the morning of the day she died. The officers suspected Hoober had been huffing from an aerosol can of dusting spray.

She became ill during transport, so the officers took her to Memorial Hospital, according to the report.

Hoober went into cardiac arrest at the hospital and was unable to be resuscitated, the report said. She was pronounced dead at 3:01 p.m. Toxicology analysis conducted during the autopsy performed April 8 by the York County Coroner's Office revealed the cause of death was an accidental overdose/poisoning death, likely from huffing difluoroethane, a chemical found in aerosol dusters.

Overdoses: York County Coroner Pam Gay said she was not at the scene, so she could not say for certain what the origin of the overdose was. She did say, however, that while huffing deaths are not as prevalent as those from heroin overdoses, they do occur.

"I'd say we see at least one or two a year," she said.

Most often, the substance used in huffing is computer duster, Gay said. But other products can be used to achieve the same purpose.

"Sometimes we'll see hairspray, but mostly it's the cans of computer duster."

— Reach John Joyce atjjoyce2@yorkdispatch.comor on Twitter at @JohnJoyceYD.