Talk:Inert gas asphyxiation

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Asphyxiation 2007[edit]

Asphyxiation is not caused by an increase in CO2; it is due to tissue hypoxia (not enough oxygen reaching the tissue). A buildup in CO2 can cause deep sedation to occur and proceed to death if it is not corrected. This condition is known as CO2 narcosis. The patient may or may not experience discomfort. Although our primary drive to breathe is CO2, if the oxygen level in the blood drops to a certain level it will also stimulate ventilation. If this decrease in oxygen occurs before the increased CO2 has sedated the patient, the patient will experience the sensation of suffocation. Neserita 20:23, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


Nitrogen, helium or argon, what's worse, fastest and least painful, what's most painful —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:36, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Helium and argon are properly inert, and nitrogen is effectively inert as far as this is concerned. All are odourless, etc., and kill merely by the fact that they are not oxygen. Thus, they are all equally painless. Nitrogen is the cheapest (air is 79% nitrogen anyway) - about the only difference would be noticeable when speaking. Helium, due to its low molar mass, would cause a high-pitched voice, and similarly argon a low-pitched one. Nitrogen would make no difference. So nitrogen would be the most secretive gas too, if one wants to avoid psychological trauma. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


Any chance this article could be edited to a more neutral POV? It is virtually cheerleading the case for Nitrogen asphyxiation as a method of capital punishment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaius colinius (talkcontribs) 15:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

The critical elements of NPOV are in paragraph 1 of the overview. The case now before the US Supreme Court argues that lethal injection is unconsitutionally painful and cruel. This article describes a physical procedure to end human life quickly without pain. By peeling away the secondary issue of painful execution, this article could encourage debate on the core questions of capital punishment: 1) Does the execution of a particularly noxious criminal make our society as a whole better or worse? 2) Is it possible in our court system to ascertain guilt sufficiently to assign capital punishment without bias of class, race, or other irrelevancies? 3) Should a moral society require that executions be "humane"? As Seitz (2001) indicated in her dissertation on previous transitions between methods of execution, the necessary legislative debate before nitrogen asphyxiation could be implemented is the appropriate forum for these discussions. Esa 0 (talk) 16:25, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Silliness, original research and POV?[edit]

Does anyone else see the obvious flaw with this sequence of events?:

  1. Place the respirator on the subject.
  2. Complete all formal communications, such as pronouncement of sentencing and any final statement by the subject.

Someone clearly *is* cheerleading the case for nitrogen asphyxiation and perhaps a little too keen on pondering a 'how to' guide. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is silly, original research nor biased point of view, nor see what is obvious. I think that the facts speak for themselves as to whether nitrogen asphyxiation is a good execution method, if you don't think so, you can put forward the facts against it. JonatasM (talk) 09:19, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Sullivan Mine[edit]

How could the coworker in the Sullivan Mine mentioned in the article call 911 when he would have lost consciousness after breathing twice? It seems like this should be clarified in the article. Ucucha 15:52, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Two reference lists?[edit]

Why are there two reference lists? Not sure how they work code-wise, but surely two is daft. -- (talk) 14:43, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Use on animals[edit]

Well, but if this method is so very humane, why is it not used for animal slaughtering?

It is used for some chicken slaughter. For larger animals, how exactly are you going to employ it for cows or pigs or sheep? SBHarris 21:06, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, maybe it's possible to apply some sort of mask or helmet on a cow, pig or sheep.
Good luck. SBHarris 03:24, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I think that cattle and pigs have to be alive for the blood to be pumped out of their bodies before the meat is ready. Nitrogen also seems like a more expensive method than what currently is utilized. JonatasM (talk) 09:09, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

It's not painless[edit]

Nitrogen asphyxiation is not necessary without signs or discomfort. I experienced it once, breathing pure nitrogen for a short while. Sure, I did not feel air hunger but still felt more and more severe discomfort with time. It was mainly dizziness, ringing ears, blurry vision, nausea and some unexplainable bad feeling which grew unbearable after a while. (talk) 10:46, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Was this "pure" nitrogen in a closed system? Under pure nitrogen I would expect someone to pass out almost immediately. However, if this was a nitrogen gas leak or nitrogen in an open setting, then there would still be a low concentration of oxygen. Enough oxygen to allow consciousness and therefore experience pain. I would be interested to know the circumstances of your experience. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:02, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

It was painless for me[edit]

Long ago as a chemistry grad student, I was curious if oxygen deprivation was a key element of the effect of nitrous oxide inhalation. I took a tube from a tank of nitrogen, took two deep breaths to purge oxygen and CO2, and took a deep breath and held it. There was no sensation of any kind. In a matter of seconds, it was as if a light switch was pulled. I was unconscious before I began to collapse to the floor, and awoke with no symptoms. (The experiment should not have been attempted standing, but I was surprised by the suddenness.) By purging CO2, I did not feel the deprivation associated with that.

It has been suggested that a loose mask would allow oxygen, but a full face respirator with a nitrogen feed would prevent this. A strong flow of nitrogen would purge O2 and CO2, and unconsciousness would follow quickly, with brain death a few minutes after. This seems much simpler and more humane than current methods.

What is the scope of this article?[edit]

It isn't called "nitrogen asphyxiation of humans." It had a number of facts about nitrogen asphyxiation in lower animals until the "WikiProject Death" and capital punishment people got hold of it, and removed them. First they did it for "poor referencing." Just recently, after a reference was found, some editor did it because the rest of the article was about people. It seems you want it done, so one reason is as good as another.

Make up your minds, folks. Nitrogen doesn't work the same way in many animals as in humans, and there are reasons for that. It is used as a slaughter method in chickens, but is inhumane for many lab animals.

Either change the title of this article, or else broaden your scope. SBHarris 17:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to add a section about the use of nitrogen to asphyxiate animals. What you can't do is add 2 sentences to the lead that basically make no sense out of context. You say that we can't use nitrogen to asphyxiate animals...who wants to asphyxiate animals? Which animals do they use nitrogen asphyxiation for? Is this an intentional or accidental practice? Without context, I literally cannot understand what those sentences were about. Furthermore, information should not appear in the lead unless it first appears in the article body, with a few exceptions (like birthdate and basic definition). I've reverted, but I have no problems if you want to add info about the use of nitrogen to asphyxiate animals to the article so long as it is sourced. Qwyrxian (talk) 02:47, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

It's a little messy in the sense that the title is Inert Gas Asphyxiation and yet several non-inert gases are mentioned and without clarification. It could be 'Gas asphyxiation' and break it doen into sections from there? Even so, the different mechanisms may need to be clarified. Some gases work simply by depriving the brain of oxygen whereas some are additionally poisonous. Even the in-between gases like carbon dioxide can cause category confusion (carbon dioxide causes hypercapnia which increases oxygen intake initially and death could be thorugh a combination of carbon dioxide poisonning and anoxia.) A simple 'Death Using Gases' could be broken down into use in veterinary practice and suicide as two main categories for starters, and then subdivided by gases used in each of those. There are some other statements that need tightened up technically as well. Probably reference some good pathology textbooks or articles to demonstrate how death actually occurs. Parzivalamfortas (talk) 05:45, 20 November 2013 (UTC)Parzivalamfortas "Death using gases" includes the use of gases such as carbon monoxide which interferes with the transport of oxygen in the blood, hydrogen cyanide (which interferes with metabolism), chlorine (irritation and corrosion), and hydrogen sulfide (damage to the nervous system), all of which cause death from causes other than asphyxiation. This is distinct from inert gas asphyxiation.Pbrower2a Pbrower2a (talk) 16:07, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

useless language translations[edit]

The ginormous section of "asphyxiate" and such in other languages is a complete waste and just like Wikipedia to stuff in as many languages and transliterations as possible. It's junk and should be removed. Estonian? Seriously? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

While I find your tone to be too harsh, I agree with the underlying sentiment, and have replaced it with a summary. Qwyrxian (talk) 03:14, 26 April 2012 (UTC)


Can we get a link to the samaritans on this page? It is being linked to be people advocating suicide — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

No, for several reasons; first, we don't link to advocacy pages, per WP:EL, except in special circumstances (like if the Samaritans had their own Wikipedia article). Second, that info is not directly linked to this topic, as this article is strictly about Nitrogen asphyxiation, not the general idea of committing suicide. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:31, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Needs broader scope[edit]

As the article on suicide bag makes clear, we actually know more about deliberate helium asphyxiation in humans than we know about nitrogen used that way. Any inert gas will do, and there's no reason to think nitrogen is different from any other inert gas, like argon (helium might be a little different from the others for physical reasons, inasmuch as it's so much lighter than air that it goes to the top of a bag open at the bottom, so tends to stay put in the right place in a do-it-yourself contraption). What we really need is an article called Inert gas asphyxiation with a section on animals (main article: Controlled atmosphere killing), and the section on humans divided into suicide and capital punishment/homicide. Under capital punishment, goes the nitrogen suggestion. Which suggestion weirdly dominates this misnamed article now, even though nitrogen has never been used in capital punishment! But has been used many times by suicides who asphyxiate themselves, yet even there, not as much as helium has. Strange! SBHarris 03:13, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Since when are mink "diving animals"?[edit]

Mink are land-dwelling Mustelids. They are not "diving animals" and spend little if any time in water, let alone diving to any depths. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:52, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

They aren't otters, but they swim and dive and eat fish, frogs, and the like. They certainly dive more than racoons, and they swim very much like otters.

[1] [2] [3] SBHarris 18:19, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Capital punishment banner[edit]

I have just looked at this article for the first time and was shocked (and confused) to see the "Capital Punishment" banner. I was about to edit the article and delete this thinking it was a mistake or vandalism until I scrolled down the article and found the small paragraphs relevant to capital punishment. But, even the (very large and distracting) banner states that Nitrogen is a PROPOSED agent, so why is the banner attached to this article? Surely it should be removed.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:45, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

See above. This happened for historical reasons. Nitrogen asphixiation as a death penalty article was written first, off the mere proposal for this. At the same time suicide bag as a euthanasia/suicide technique with helium was written by other parties. Then it was noticed that inert gas asphyxiation (no article by that name at that time) was used in animal slaughter as (one type of) controlled atmosphere killing (CO2 as an active poison being the other main type), and finally a number of people (including me) pointed out that all this stuff is the same thing, and there have been accidental cases also, and that the death penalty use is (actually) the least of a very general phenomenon, which should have the name the article has now. We've had to fight the blind men and an elephant syndrome all along, just to get to where we are. For example, when I first added animal slaughter info to (what was then) a "nitrogen death penalty" article, I was reverted on grounds that it wasn't relevant! SBHarris 00:21, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi. Thank you very much for explaining this. I spent some time going through the history of the article and guessed that the addition of the banner was historical. As I mentioned above, for a first time reader of the page as it now exists, the banner looks terribly unrelated and misleading. I came to the page as someone interested in animal behaviour and animal welfare, certainly not someone interested in methods of suicide or killing other humans. By the way, I see that Inert gas refers to CO2 as a "pseudo-inert gas"; perhaps this needs mentioning in the article.__DrChrissy (talk) 17:37, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

It is not yet in use as capital punishment; it is a potential means of lawful execution, but it is not yet a prescribed method. It has yet to be introduced in any legislative body as a means of lawful execution. Wikipedia is not the place for making predictions of the future except as scheduled events (Dostoevsky bicentennial in 2021) or reliably-certain events (precession of the equinoxes will continue) as fact.

So what is possible?

1. American states that find lethal injection impossible will revert to hanging, cyanide gas, electrocution, or firing squads.

2. American states that find lethal injection impossible but reject other means will effectively abandon capital punishment.

3. The United States Supreme Court may decide again that capital punishment as available will be "cruel and unusual punishment" and thus outlaw capital punishment. Pbrower2a (talk) 16:25, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

It seems to me that the page needs to be cleaned up somewhat. There are many irrelevant references to capital punishment and inert gas has never been used for capital punishment. If people want to propose it as such, or suggest that such proposals have been taken seriously, then it seems that references should be included. The Portillo one, an offhand remark by a TV programme maker, is hardly enough to overload an article entitles Inert Gas Asphyxiation with lists and references to various means of execution. I've removed the totally egregious section of 'references' that didn't reference inert gas asphyxiation even once. perhaps someone would like to finish the job and get the page onto a more scientific footing? Parzivalamfortas (talk) 02:30, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I've attempted some of this, but will see what others think. The page does seem to be overly used as a potential mouthpiece for advocacy groups on suicide, animal rights and capital punishment - all of which have only fairly nominal connections with the heading.Parzivalamfortas (talk) 03:07, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

lead image[edit]

I have just placed a skull and cross-bones as the lead image on this article. However, I am a little concerned that this could be misleading in that it indicates poison, whereas methods in the article are largely non-toxic. I feel very much that this article neads a lead image to help the reader immediately identify the subject, but I would not want to confuse people. Another possibility is below.

Experiment with the Air Pump

__DrChrissy (talk) 15:54, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Looking at it now, I don't like that image, as I don't think it's really connected to the topic. I don't understand why the article needs a lead image--many articles do not have one, and this seems like exactly the abstract kind of topic that would be better off with out one. Qwyrxian (talk) 10:00, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Reverted IP addition[edit]

An IP editor added extended material from Portillo's documentary to the "Capital Punishment" section (see this edit). I reverted it, because I believe it's WP:UNDUE (that's a part of our neutrality policy, WP:NPOV). The IP re-added the material, left a message on my talk page, but didn't actually justify inclusion. As such, I've re-reverted to remove the info again. However, does anyone else have an opinion on the edit? Am I wrong in thinking it's not actually relevant to this page, and borders on being soapboxing? Qwyrxian (talk) 09:59, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Just a note that Ravensfire's revert touches on one of my concerns: the IP had overgeneralized, taking one person's statement about capital punishment and stating it was true of all people who support capital punishment. That's WP:OR...and not very accurate OR at that. Qwyrxian (talk) 21:34, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Sulfur hexafluoride[edit]

Would sulfur hexafluoride have much the same effect (allowing for its density)? It is practically inert, and except for replacing oxygen as a breathable gas it is harmless. Pbrower2a (talk) 15:55, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Apparently so. Parzivalamfortas (talk) 03:13, 24 June 2014 (UTC)


Although I agree [4] was probably a copyright violation, I hope someone follows up on the results of the legislative effort. EllenCT (talk) 22:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Removing CO2 stunning[edit]

CO2 is not considered an inert gas according to the wikipedia article linked to in the lede, and no references provided here suggest otherwise. As such it is clearly not a type of inert gas asphyxiation and not appropriate for this article.Mark Marathon (talk) 23:05, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

This article desperately needs references.[edit]

This article is woefully under-referenced. At this stage, there isn't even a reference to establish that this subject even exists, much less is is notable. Mark Marathon (talk) 23:56, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Hi. It depends a little bit on what you want want from the article. If you are interested in its use as a method of animal slaughter, it is informative and, I believe, appropriately referenced. However, in relation to humans, I agree with you totally.__DrChrissy (talk) 10:33, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
What is it you want? People have killed themselves very efficiently with He and Ar and have beem autopsied. Inert gas asphyxiation is the standard term. The nitrogen reference 12 explains that there is no symptoms and why, and tells how fast. SBHarris 10:43, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
One of the most fundamental problems is that the article lacks any kind of definition or evidence of notability. This is obviously a "thing" and deserves some sort of article, but I can't see any evidence that this is the correct name for it. A search for "Inert gas asphyxiation" on Google throws up endless instances where the term is used, but amost of them are just members of the general public parroting Wikipedia. The reputable usage is only in the same kind of offhand context as they would refer to any other kind of asphyxiation; ie, they are referring to asphyxiation from an inert gas rather than a specific event. There is nothing to suggests that the term "Inert gas asphyxiation" is used the way this article says it should be used. Trying a news search throws up newsblogs or media quotations from non-experts. Google scholar returns just 6 hits, as non-specific as the new results. That's not a good sign that this is how experts refer to this process. Most of the reliable sources I can find use examples of asphyxiation that occurred when the gas was mixed with, and partially displaced, a normal atmosphere, not in the absence of oxygen as claimed here.
I can't find any evidence that that "Inert gas asphyxiation" is a specific term with a specific meaning as stated by this article. It seems to just mean "asphyxiation caused by an inert gas preventing oxygen transfer in the lungs" and nothing more. That's not really enough to claim notability or decide the title of an article. We might as well have specific articles on "butane asphyxiation" or "industrial gas asphyxiation". Those terms have more usage by reliable sources than "Inert gas asphyxiation", but I doubt they are sufficiently notable for an article. And at this stage I'm not seeing any evidence that "Inert gas asphyxiation" is notable or the correct term.
The best references in this article state that the process is called "Controlled atmosphere killing". At least that term is used widely by experts and clearly defined. At this stage it seems we need to rename this article to "Controlled atmosphere killing", unless we can come up with a reference that the definition used in the lede is one that is used by reliable sources. Once again, I don't doubt that this is a thing and deserves an article. However I am not seeing any evidence that "Inert gas asphyxiation" is the way that experts refer to it, or even that the term has any specific meaning beyond "asphyxiation involving an inert gas".
The rest of the article is a lot better referenced now than it was 12 hours ago, thanks to all editors. But it's still unfocussed, probably because editors don't really know what this is about. There was a section on CO2 poisoning before I removed it and nobody seemed to find it out if place, which indicates how vague this subject is. The section on animal slaughter still refers to CO2 asphyxiation multiple times. The accidental deaths section references people passing out from breathing from helium balloons, which almost certainly isn't asphyxiation (deficiency of oxygen) but rather is due to a loss of CO2 from hyperventialtion. It then mentions someone's lung rupturing from using a pressurised gas cylinder, which certainly isn't asphyxiation. But all this has been added and left there, in large part because we don't actually have any authoritative reference as to what "Inert gas asphyxiation" is, so it's impossible to say what should and shouldn't be included.Mark Marathon (talk)

I'm not married to the name and don't care what it's called, especially if the other editors have a consensus. We already have an article on asphyxiant gas, which is well-referenced because asphyxiant gases are a different hazardous materials class than the toxic gasses. This, due to their mechanism of action and sometimes peculiar lack of warning symptoms. We don't have an article on asphyxiant gas use or asphyxiant gas accident or asphyxiant gas death. The last would be a completely viable name change for the present article and I have no problem with it. We need the article to collect material on deliberate and accidental deaths due to this mechanism, just as we have articles for drowning, hanging, electrocution, and so on. "Drowning" is nothing more than "suffocation by water" but we have a specific word in English. If the hazard is notable, deaths from it tend to be notable as well, as judged by WP:N criteria. In any case, there is more than enough material in the forensic section, including authoritative forensic articles, of Google Scholar to warrant this article, whatever its name ultimately is. Gas drowning, anybody? The medical examiners do not call it that and they ARE the authorities. They tend to call it asphyxiation or suffocation, see [5]. Inert gas suffocation would be a possible name, except that (again) these are all HazMat "asphyxiants" not "suffocants".

"Toxic gas" redirects to chemical weapons, which leaves no place for an article on toxic gas accidents or (for that matter) use of toxic gases like CO2 in animal slaughter. I can't fix that-- such an article would need to be separately created. There is no article on "controlled atmosphere killing"-- that redirects to the section here, as the best place for the redirect. If this article is renamed to that, you'll have to put back in the material on CO2 you just removed, as it's appropriate for that article, but (as you note) not really for this this one. Incidentally, the CO2 matter is complicated by the fact that a fair number of sources mistakenly consider CO2 an inert gas, when it is of course toxic over 7%. Anesthetic gas information is collected in the WP article on anesthetic. Inert gases are of course neither really toxic or anesthetic (although at least N, Ar, and SF6 change characteristics from inert to anesthetic at increased partial pressure)

Accidents with asphyxiant gasses indeed tend not to involve the pure gas but result in death due to breathing a hypoxic atmosphere (a mix of air and inert gas), and hypoxic atmosphere death would also be a workable alternative name for this article, which was never intended as an article on ONLY pure inert gas inhalation anyway. This article serves as a place to collect information about death as a result of gases that are not toxic but hazardous anyway, and are (of course) completely inappropriate for chemical weapon. There is a section on use of nitrogen for executions, which at present is only a proposal, albeit one promoted well enough to be notable alone. In fact, it is the core of the present article, which has grown by accretion.

Again, AFAIK, we have no article on accidental toxic gas death, and probably need one there, too (though not this one). Suicide is always hard to classify, as it tends to take up subject room: for example, we have an "as suicide" section in hanging for those focused on death method, and a hanging section in suicide methods for those focused on death mode. There is even stand-alone WP article on on suicide by hanging. These serve as main article for sections in the others. In the case of suicide by inert gases, we have suicide bag.

Passing out from hyperventilation is very rare and difficult; most people hyperventilate in air for many minutes in preparation for holding their breaths and do not experience anything of the sort. This is certainly is not the mechanism for passing out from breathing helium from a toy balloon, which takes only a few slow breaths. Yes, this article contains a few instances where small helium balloons or their production are blamed as causes of inert gas death, but probably have been unjustly accused (since usually the unconscious person wakes up as soon as they quit doing this stupid activity, and have had time to take a automatic breaths of air). They can be removed or not. Differentiation (the process of saying what your article does NOT cover, including claimed helium toy balloon deaths) is always difficult. Helium toy balloon deaths is intrinsically interesting and there is probably enough WP:RS material to write that article, at least as stub.

Finally, you have added all kinds of "citation needed" tags to the lede, and citations are not needed for article ledes unless they make factual statements not cited in the article below. In that case, you place the "cite" tag in the article, not the lede.

SBHarris 04:04, 27 November 2014 (UTC):When I added the tags to the lede, they were not referenced in the article that I could see. The first one is still required because we still don't have any source that defines "inert gas asphyxiation.

When I added those tags, the material wasn't referenned in the text that I could see. The first one, for the definition, still isn't.
And that remains that major issue with this article. Your response above suggests that the article should cover all sorts of things, but essentially be “a place to collect information” about some events that are linked, but already covered in other articles. But we have no evidence that the collected phenomenon is notable. If no reputable source in the history of the world has produced a journal article, a newspaper article, a TV report or even a short workplace safety bulletin on a subject, why do Wikipedia editors believe that it is notable? When a subject has never even been given a name, that would seem to suggest that it’s really non-notable.
The big difference between this phenomenon and drowning is that I can find a definition of drowning in any dictionary. I can find endless reliable sources that have compiled statistics on drowning, I can find hundreds of sources that speak about preventing drowning, treating drowning, the effect of drowning etc. But we can’t find even one such source for “inert gas asphyxiation”. Nobody seems to think it is sufficiently notable to even tally the deaths and injuries from it. The one reference we have treating the physiological effects never uses the term “inert gas asphyxiation”.
All we really have is a handful of isolated instances of people being affected by this phenomenon. There’s no evidence that it is more common or notable than drowning in molasses, suffocating under grain or being crushed to death by pigs. None of those subjects have their own articles, nor should they IMO. While we can find reliable sources that refer to them occurring, as we can with this phenomenon, that doesn’t make them notable.
At this point the article lacks notability, and probably qualifies for deletion on those grounds. That seems really weird to me, but that’s the case. Wikipedia editors shouldn’t be creating articles because we think that it’s sufficiently notable. We are supposed to follow the notability guidelines, and at this point this article fails. We seem to have just created an article with a made-up name and then added a whole lot of vaguely-connected isolated events into it to make it seem like a real event. That would seem to violate WP:synth. None of the references ever uses the term “inert gas asphyxiation” as far as I can tell.
If, as you say, the experts call this “suffocation”, then it should probably added as a section to the suffocation article shouldn’t it? If the fact that these gases are not suffocants doesn’t stop the experts, I’m not sure it should stop us. As editors we are supposed to be compiling information, not synthesising it.Mark Marathon (talk) 05:22, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
And now an editor has re-added the material on CO2 asphyxiation, arguing that it is warranted. We also have a section on the use of freakin' electricity. But it's impossible to argue that they should be removed because we don't actually have any reliable sources to confirm what "inert gas asphyxiation" is. Normally we can argue that a reference doesn't merit inclusion, at the very least, because it never even uses the words in the title of the article in the text. But here we can't do that because, as afar as I can tell, not one of the references does that: none of the references refers to "inert gas asphyxiation".
This article is an unfocussed mess and completely lacking in notability. I'll wait to see if we get any ore discussion on this talk page about how to improve notability, then I'm going to nominate it for deletion. All the material in here can be easily rolled into existing articles on suicide, electrocution, poisoning etc. and there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the subject is notable in its own right. There isn't even any evidence that it exists in the current form that encompasses everything from ruptured lungs to CO2 poisoning to electrocution.Mark Marathon (talk) 22:50, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

The way to fix an article which has irrelevant material, is to delete the irrelevant material. Most relevant material with no citation should get a citation tag, per WP:NOCITE. Don't blame the article for the mistakes of some new editor.

As for the idea that this article is about a non-notable subject, you missed doing the essential search on Google Books for "Inert gas asphyxiation" which would have given you hundreds of WP:V sources for the subject. I've just picked the first one I got, and will soon add a definition that explains the words that make up the title. The chapter in Environmental and Occupational Medicine is called "Simple Asphyxiants". It's really about not just those, but (of course) also what they do to people. Hence the subject here. I don't really know why a full definition should be necessary. Perhaps it's necessary to refine what we mean by "inert", since asphyxiation is not ambiguous. As for your check of Google Scholar, you should have seen PMID 22337780 in which the phrase "inert gas asphyxiation" is used by the authors with the expectation that the reader will know what it means. Again, this is not some phrase I made up. And in any case, the WP:N value of the article is not by reason of its title, which we editors make up freely, but rather the notability of the subject itself, by whatever name(s) it is called in the literature. And the literature, including many books on hazards in chemical processing, does have separate chapters on nothing but this subject. Not electrocution, CO2 poisoning (that's differentiated in the book above), and so on. The next chapter 35 is toxic gases. If the subject exists to the point that many academic books treat it separately (and they do), that pretty much spikes your WP:V, WP:N, and WP:RS arguments all right there.

I'll have more to say on your other points after a bit of reference addition. Of course, you're free to RfD this article any time you like, but you're just wasting your time. However, it is your time to waste, so be my guest. SBHarris 02:08, 29 November 2014 (UTC)