Officials announced 41-year-old Scottish singer Darius Danesh’s death last month resulted from an accidental inhalation of chloroethane.
Autopsy results listed “toxic effects of chloroethane” and “suffocation” which led to his sudden death, according to an ITV report. The death was ruled an accident by the coroner.
Chloroethane, or ethyl chloride, is a colorless gas often used as an anesthetic in minor surgeries. The compound is also used in other pharmaceuticals and plastics. The pressurized gas can cause corrosive fumes when it reacts with water or steam, according to PubChem.
A 1999 Coast Guard report said chloroethane vapor causes drunkenness, anesthesia and possible lung injury.
“The acute (short term) effects of ethyl chloride from inhalation exposure in humans consists of temporary feelings of drunkenness, and higher levels cause lack of muscle coordination and unconsciousness,” explains an Environmental Protection Agency document.
Danesh was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1980, to a Scottish mother and an Iranian father, according to a BBC report. He majored in English literature and philosophy at the University of Edinburgh but ditched academics to pursue his passion to perform.
Danesh first achieved musical fame after performing the Britney Spears song “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” for the reality show “Popstars,” in 2001. Not long afterward, he made it to the final three in “Pop Idol,” an earlier incarnation of “American Idol,” an episode viewed by more than 13 million people.
The singer spurned an offer by host Simon Cowell to produce two records of him singing cover songs. The report noted Danesh seemed to make the right decision to pursue his dream to produce original material. His first song, “Colourblind,” became a sensational hit, reaching the top of the U.K. Single Chart for two weeks in 2002.
His family issued a statement noting police found “no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances.” He was found “unresponsive in bed in his apartment room,” according to the statement.
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