Coles removes aerosol deodorants from aisles at Northern Territory stores

Coles has stripped this product from the aisles of all its stores in one jurisdiction, and there’s an important reason why.

Aerosol deodorants have been pulled from the shelves and put behind locked cabinets at all Coles stores across the Northern Territory amid fears they are being used misused.

The retail giant works closely with community groups to determine the risk among both young and vulnerable people.

The measure was already in place in Alice Springs and a handful of other stores in the Top End, but the method is now in place for the entire jurisdiction.

“Like a number of retailers, Coles is working to minimise harm caused by the misuse of aerosol products,” a Coles spokeswoman said.

She said all Coles supermarkets in the NT now had lockable aerosol cabinets installed.

“Customers seeking to purchase these products can simply ask a team member at the service desk for assistance.,” the spokeswoman said.

The supermarket behemoth said the measure was in place at other stores outside the Territory but would not elaborate further.

Three years ago a remote youth organisation spoke to the ABC about how it was urging retailers to lock up aerosol deodorants.

Young People Ahead’s Alvin Hava said volatile substance abuse was becoming more apparent.

“We’re actually observing that for ourselves and we’re doing the walking of the pavements and seeing the discarded cans and paraphernalia that’s around the community,” he told the broadcaster.

He said putting the inhalants behind the counter would help minimise harm.

“From our observations, a lot of these volatile substances are being sought from supermarkets and some of the hardware stores in town (Mount Isa),” he said.

Volatile substance abuse is the deliberate inhalation of substances, which produce a vapour or gas at room temperature, for their intoxicating effects.

Last month it was revealed hundreds of children had been rushed to Townsville Hospital because they had fallen ill from chroming – inhaling substances like deodorant, petrol, glue, paint, air fresheners or aerosols.

The Townsville University Hospital has treated close to 300 kids and a little more than 100 adults since 2018.

Meanwhile, Coles, Kmart and Woolworths have also locked up their aerosol products in Mount Isa amid substance abuse concerns.

Woolworths and Kmart have been contacted for comment.

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