Nightmare “Kit” Leads to Lawsuit Against Amazon


( – Sodium nitrate is a common chemical used for curing meats such as bacon and ham. In highly concentrated doses, however, it becomes a deadly toxin some use to end their lives. Two families who tragically lost teenagers to suicide are suing Amazon, claiming the company that has everything from A to Z sold their kids suicide kits.

On September 29, the families of Ethan McCarthy and Kristine Jónsson filed suit against Amazon and an affiliate for selling the means for the teens to kill themselves. According to the filing, Loudwolf, a company authorized by the platform, sold doses of sodium nitrate in concentrations so pure they could have no other purpose than to end life.

More disturbingly, the suit alleges Amazon not only sold the substance but offered suggestions to buyers for digital scales, anti-nausea drugs, and a handbook on assisted suicide. A spokesman for the company told NPR the chemical has a wide variety of applications, including as a reagent, making it viable in such high concentrations. He stressed the company doesn’t intend the substance for consumption, but as with many other products, misuse can happen.

A bipartisan letter from the US House of Representatives sent in February asked Amazon why it sold something that makes ending a life so easy. The signatories stress as many as 10 people had used sodium nitrate to commit suicide in the past two years. Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit say the product is no longer available from Loudwolf, but a simple search of the site reveals a multitude of other sellers.

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