Businesses across the North are going to extreme lengths to crack down on deodorant thefts.
Businesses across the North are going to extreme lengths to crack down on deodorant thefts.

Company behind Rexona to hold crisis meeting about chroming

THE company behind deodorant brand Rexona will hold a crisis meeting to address the soaring rates of chroming.

Businesses across the North are going to extreme lengths to crack down on deodorant thefts.

Townsville and Mount Isa are at the centre of ongoing battles against youths inhaling aerosols.

IGA stores across Townsville have added cameras in the health and beauty aisles and boosted security on the floor in a bid to crackdown on deodorant theft. Cornetts IGA area operations manager Fred Noack said recent stocktake counts revealed the issue locally, sparking the measures.

"We are happy to do the security and do our part, the disappointing part is that in the community that people are chroming," he said.

Woolworths supermarket in Cairns CBD last month pulled the products off the shelves at the request of police.

Authorities warned of an escalation of chroming following the deaths of two Townsville teenagers in 2017.

In a statement, Rexona's parent company, Unilever, said it took the issue of volatile substance misuse - or "chroming" - seriously.

Increased reports of chroming had prompted Unilever to contact major retailers and ask for products to be sold in theft-reduction shelving in the affected communities.

"We are deeply concerned that chroming continues to have such a devastating impact on individuals, their families and communities," the statement said.

Chroming is becoming a real problem across regional Queensland, police say. Photo: FILE
Chroming is becoming a real problem across regional Queensland, police say. Photo: FILE


"Unilever will also host an industry-wide roundtable to seek to address this issue and explore solutions.

"It is anticipated the roundtable will involve all relevant stakeholders - aerosol manufacturers, health authorities, police, retailers and community representatives."

The company has introduced advisory messaging on Rexona cans and improved on-pack warning statements regarding the misuse of the product.

Rexona products have been removed from the shelves of Woolworths on Abbott St in Cairns after police requests due to juveniles chroming.
Rexona products have been removed from the shelves of Woolworths on Abbott St in Cairns after police requests due to juveniles chroming. FILE


Rexona products have been removed from the shelves of Woolworths on Abbott St in Cairns after police requests due to juveniles chroming.
Townsville Police Chief Superintendent Kev Guteridge said there had not been a recorded increase in chroming offending in the city, but police were certainly aware of the ongoing issue.

"It's a hard balance between is it a law enforcement issue or is it a health issue," he said.

"The bigger impact is on the fact that the kids are inhaling a harmful thing that can potentially kill them."

Townsville Police District Chief Superintedent Kev Guteridge.
Townsville Police District Chief Superintedent Kev Guteridge.
Mount Isa police last week conducted operations targeting chroming and spoke with supermarkets about the issue. Police recorded 41 incidents and dealt with 79 juveniles in relation to chroming in the last financial year in Mount Isa - significantly up on the previous 12 months.

The substances pose a major health risk when misused and can attack the brain, heart and lungs.

Northern Region Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor said youths were putting their lives at risk.

"Police are working well with the store owners and the suppliers of these items to make sure that we're reducing the risk of that occurrence," he said.