Darius Campbell Danesh's cause of death has been confirmed after he passed away in August at the age of 41.

The Pop Idol star, who rose to fame on the hit show in 2002, was found dead in his US apartment in Rochester, Minnesota, last month.

Darius died from “inhalation of chloroethane”, the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office has now confirmed.

Autopsy documents obtained by the PA news agency listed “toxic effects of chloroethane” as well as “suffocation” as having contributed to his death, which was ruled an accident by the medical examiner.

Chloroethane, commonly known as ethyl chloride, is used in petrol additives, plastics, dyes, pharmaceuticals, topical anaesthetics, and as an industrial refrigerant.

Ethyl chloride became popular as an inhalant street drug in the 1980s. Brief inhalations of the drug can result in dizziness, euphoria, confusion, incoordination, hallucinosis, impairment of short-term memory and narcosis.

Inhalation of higher doses of ethyl chloride may be related to severe depression of the central nervous system, with toxicity and deaths have been reported in the past. It can also damage the liver and kidneys.

Chloroethane is commonly used as a thickening agent and binder in paints, cosmetics, and similar products, and has also been used as a refrigerant, an aerosol spray propellant, an anaesthetic, and a blowing agent for foam packaging. However, it is not currently widely used in any of these roles stated, as reported by WalesOnline.

It is a recreational inhalant drug, and in Brazil it is a major component of a traditional and illegal drug, known locally as 'lança-perfume', which is taken during Carnaval.

However, breathing its vapors at more than 15% percent can be fatal, and if exposed to concentrations higher 6-8% victims often exhibit symptoms such as shallow breathing, loss of consciousness and depressed heart-rate.

Long-term effects of exposure to the drug over a period or four or more hours will cause side effects which are similar to those of an alcoholic hangover, such as dehydration, dizziness, loss of clear vision and temporary loss of consciousness. If no longer exposed to Chloroethane, a victim will return to normal health quickly.

Darius' tragic death was confirmed in a statement from his family last month, which read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh. Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11 and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the local medical examiners’ office.

“The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances. The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue.

“We ask that you kindly respect our wishes for privacy at this time whilst we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother.”

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