Medications

What is nitrous oxide, and how dangerous is it?

Media reports last week linked the use of "nangs" to the death of a teenager at schoolies week on the Gold Coast. Hamish Bidgood died when he fell from a balcony. He and his friends had reportedly been using "nangs" that ...

Health

No laughing matter: Nitrous oxide reappears in US ambulances

Normally used in dentist's offices and hospitals, nitrous oxide—yes, laughing gas—is starting to turn up again in ambulances in some rural areas where medical workers with clearance to provide more traditional painkillers ...

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Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as happy gas or laughing gas, is a chemical compound with the chemical formula N2O. At room temperature, it is a colorless non-flammable gas, with a pleasant, slightly sweet odor and taste. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects. It is known as "laughing gas" due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational use as an inhalant drug. It is also used as an oxidizer in rocketry and in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. It is often created in bushfires[citation needed].

Nitrous oxide reacts with ozone and is the main naturally occurring regulator of stratospheric ozone. Nitrous oxide is also a major greenhouse gas. Considered over a 100 year period, it has 298 times more impact per unit weight than carbon dioxide.

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