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Battery Acid Exposure
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Battery Acid Exposure

I'm 24, and was in excellent health (don’t smoke or drink) before being exposed to battery acid. The 1st time I was told to sweep up the white dust it took about 2-3 hours and got in my mouth. The other employee that did the job with me, I kept asking was this unsafe he's in his early 60's he said we would be alright. The 2nd time I was told to sweep it up I wore a dust mask but I still could taste it; then I was told to mop it up with water and S5000; it didn't come up the supervisor told me to quit after at least 6 hours. These incidents took place about a year ago and 9 months ago respectively. Some of the medical problems that I've experienced are my salvia glands are enlarged; biopsy came back benign, no infection. I went to the dentist last week to have a cap put on my tooth that came off; I wasn't experiencing any pain. The dentist examined my teeth perfect; no cavities, clean, straight. Then they took x-rays of my teeth and they were shocked my teeth are decayed and infected but I feel no pain. They have scheduled me a 2 hour appointment to contain the damage. An endocrinologist schedule an ultrasound of my neck, my thyroid is enlarged. I had a urine sample taken a month ago I have white and red cells in my urine. When I wake up from sleeping my throat feels like there is phlem and I have a dry cough. I’ve been to the doctor more times in the last 8-9 months than I’ve been in my entire life. I haven’t told anybody that I have but exposed to battery acid but family; up until I had the x-rays last week this was probably the most extreme thing that has happened. One thing is odd is after I had the x-rays I've been experiencing earaches, headaches, and mouth pain but they didn't do anything to my teeth other than x-rays and looking in my mouth.

Are there any tests I should have done now that I'm positive that my exposure to battery acid is causing my medical problems? Is there a specialist I should see about my health? Any advice is greatly appreciated.    
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
I recommend that you work with your primary care provider to coordinate you visits with the endocrinologist and other providers.

Let me try to sum up your current symptoms and I'll ask additional questions:
1. Mouth pain (Where in your mouth do you have pain? Teeth? All of your teeth or just some?
2. Ear pain - Both ears or just one side?
3. Headaches - Have you had headaches before? If so, are these headaches similar or different from past headaches?
4. Phlegm & Dry cough - How long has this been bothering you? Do you have seasonal allergies (pollen, dust, mold)?
5. Do you have any other medical problems or take any medications?
6. Enlarged salivary glands? are you certain that you do not have "swollen" or enlraged lymph nodes?
6. Red and white cells in your urine - Were you diagnosed with a urinary tract infection? Have you had blood work to evaluate your kidney function?
7. Enlarged thyroid gland - Have you had blood work to evaluate the function of your thyroid gland? If so, was the TSH elevated or low?

I would recommend that you continue to follow-up with your medical provider so that they can work with you to address your symptoms. If you do not have a primary care provider, I recommend that you find one.

Please feel free to reply and ask additional questions.

~•~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
2 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
1. The gum area of my top front teeth and lower right teeth hurt; but I only began to experience pain after the x-rays; previously I had no knowledge of the current condition of my teeth.
2. Both ears hurt, when they hurt together the pain is throbbing, last longer, and more intense but when one ear is aching the pain is sharp; upon examination there is no fluid in my ears.
3. I normally don't get headaches but my head hurts in the center of my forehead or the front right side.
4. I’m not allergic to anything and the dry cough and phlegm has been going on for 3 weeks now, but it’s starting to go away.
5. I don’t take medications but I do have palpitations. When I was 17 or 18 they were constant now they occur less but are more intense; sometimes it feels as if my heart has skipped two or three beats.  At one point as a small child, I was diagnosed with a heart murmur.
6. The needle biopsy results indicated that it was my salivary gland, the submandibular. My right is much larger than my left; its firm, and every 3 month appointment it seems to be getting bigger and the ENT orders another needle biopsy. The results are no infection, benign, and no stones.
7. Red and white cells were found in my urine and I wasn’t diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. I haven’t had my Kidneys tested.
8. I had blood work done but my results are not back yet, the endocrinologist ordered many test.

The other thing that I’ve been exposed to on a regular basis for 2 years is welding dust from robot cells. I don’t know how dangerous this could be to my health either.
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Philip D Parks, MD, MPH, MOccH, F...Blank
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