The ABC has copped a slight roasting online after it published not one, not two but three stories about nitrous oxide bulbs (or nangs) this week, claiming that the gas is “back with a vengeance” in Australia’s underground party scene.
Nitrous oxide is a commonly available anaesthetic used by dentists, but it’s also freely available over the counter and used in kitchens to create things like whipped cream and foams.
In the three stories it published yesterday about nitrous oxide bulbs — which are also known as whippets or nangs — the ABC reported on a warning from doctors about a “dangerous” rise in the use of nangs, which can lead to nerve and brain damage if overused. One of the stories even featured the story of a young woman who suffered spinal cord damage after inhaling around 360 nangs a week (!).
The ABC also sent a reporter to a Sydney warehouse party hosted by local label Motorik, which has received some backlash online. In her report about the party, political journalist Uma Patel contacted Motorik’s Angus Gruzman for comment about the selling of nangs at the event, to which he allegedly replied, “Have a nice life you loser.”
Readers have also responded to the story on Facebook, with a vengeance…
This isn’t the first time a major Australian media outlet has received backlash for reporting on nangs like they’re new and super-dangerous. Back in 2015, 7 News also copped it after calling nangs a “dangerous new” festival craze, despite bulbs having been in use for decades prior.
The reported rise in nang usage also comes as Australia fails to make pill testing a reality at local music festivals, which is something that definitely deserves more attention than nangs. Since 2010, there have only been two recorded deaths from recreational nitrous oxide use in Australia.
Watch a segment of the ABC‘s report on the rise of nangs, below.