WA Parent Warning: Kids Died from Viral Kits They Bought on Amazon
There are multiple lawsuits against Amazon from different families after 3 different teenagers died from "kits" they bought online. One family is from here in Washington State. Every parent needs to hear their story.
Kids Call This Product a "Suicide Kit"
The product that kids have been dying from after purchasing from Amazon is sodium nitrate at an almost pure level. One lawsuit alleges that Amazon profited "by selling a deadly chemical they know is used by children to die by suicide." That lawsuit was filed by "16-year-old Kristine Jónsson of Ohio and the parents of 17-year-old Ethan McCarthy of West Virginia" who both lost their lives after ingesting the sodium nitrate.
What Else Does Their Lawsuit Say?
The lawsuit also says that "even after parents and regulators warned Amazon that Sodium Nitrite had no household use, Amazon continued to sell it to households, for under twenty dollars, and with two-day delivery." The lawyers for the families said "Amazon is selling a product that is as deadly as cyanide" according to an interview by NPR. Sadly, this is not the only lawsuit that Amazon is facing. There are two more families with a story to tell.
There is an Earlier Lawsuit, 17 Year-Old and a 27 Year-Old
The earlier lawsuit was filed here in Washington State against "Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”), which profits by selling a deadly chemical it knows vulnerable adults and children use to die by suicide." The lawsuit is being brought forward by lawyers representing 27-year-old Mikael Scott and 17-year-old Tyler Muhleman that both died after ingesting the product. Just wait, there is more to the story that makes Amazon seem much more guilty in this tragedy.
Believe it or Not, The Allegations Get Worse for Amazon
One lawsuit also says "Amazon bundles Sodium Nitrite with other offerings to create suicide kits. Along with Sodium Nitrite, Amazon’s recommendation feature (i.e., “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” and “Frequently bought together”) offers Tagamet, an acid reduction medicine that online suicide forums recommend preventing lifesaving vomiting after ingesting a deadly dose of Sodium Nitrite." That is not all, there is much more if you want to read the lawsuits yourself.
Is Sodium Nitrate Legal to Sell in These Concentrations?
Even now the same product is for sale on Amazon with a 5-pound bag costing less than $20 with no restrictions. The liquid version is harder to find but not necessary. Amazon released a statement after the lawsuit saying "Sodium nitrite is a legal and widely-available product offered by retailers to preserve foods, such as meats and fish, and for use in laboratories as a reagent. Sodium nitrite is not intended for consumption, and unfortunately, like many products, it can be misused."
What Can We Do as Parents to Combat This?
The best thing you can do is talk to your kids about suicide and see if they have heard about the "kits". Be aware of what the product looks like and keep an eye out for it in your house or your Amazon shopping list. Watch what forums your kids are communicating in because that was the way these kids learned about it according to reports. If you need resources about talking to suicide with your kids, try here at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or here from the Washington State Department for Children, Youth, and Families. Here is one more from Parents.com.
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