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possible asbestos exposure
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possible asbestos exposure

Hello,

Five days ago, my family went to Vancouver, BC, Canada. In a Royal Bank of Canada branch, I took my son (3 years old) to the bathroom. The door of the bathroom was stuck so I pushed it hard to close it. Some black stuff fell from the ceiling. We stayed in the bathroom for about 5 minutes. The building is an old building. Later I felt chest pain and sore throat. I am worried whether these stuff can be asbestos and am concerned about my son's health and my health.

Any advice and suggestion is very appreciated.

Many thanks.

John
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello John,

Asbestos that is incorporated into building materials is usually not black in color.

Was the ceiling in disrepair or damaged? Could you tell if there was moisture in the ceiling?

If there was moisture present, it is possible that mold my have been what dropped from the ceiling. The presence of high levels of mold spores can cause throat irritation.

How do you feel now?

Please follow up with additional questions that you may have.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
8 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Dr. Parks.

Thank you very much for answering my question. I did look briefly at ceiling after I saw those black stuff. The ceiling seemed clean. The black stuff themselves seemed damp though. Since I need to take care my son at that time, I didn't check it carefully. I am feeling OK now after taking an Advil yesterday. Is this something I still need to worry about?

Thanks again.

John
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello again John,

No, I don't believe that there is reason for concern.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Dr. Parks,

Thank you very much for answering my questions. My son suffered running nose and some nose bleeding (3 times) this week after the incident.I cannot help worrying about it.  My son is 3 years old and we went to the bathroom together. The reason you thought we should not concern, is it because these black stuff were likely not asbestos or because our exposures were small. We drove 8 hours after this incident. If there were some stuff got onto our clothe, is it possible for us to breath the asbestos fiber in the car during this 8 hours. Sorry for all these questions. Your valuable advices are very appreciated.

John
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello again John,

The reasons that I recommended that you not be concerned are that it is highly unlikely that the "black stuff" was asbestos.

It is possible that you were exposed to dust of some type that may or may not have contained mold or mold spores. Dust exposure can be irritating to the respiratory tree (including the nasal passages).

Has your son experienced nose bleeds in the past? Did you or your son have symptoms of itchy eyes, sneezing, or coughing/

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Dr. Parks,

Thank you very much for replying my questions so patiently. My son did have nose bleeding before but not as frequently as this time, 4 times last week. We took him to his pediatrician a couple of days ago. The doctor told us he had some infection in his nose and prescribed some medicine to apply inside his nose.

I did have itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing symptoms. My son had  running nose. Not sure if these symptoms are related with this incidence since I also have seasonal allergy around this time.

Thanks.

John
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi John,

Yes.  Your symptoms of: itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing symptoms are consistent with dust exposure of some type and aggravation of allergic rhinitis/seasonal allergies. It is highly unlikely that the dust contained asbestos given that there were not signs of damage, renovation, construction, or remodeling.

Be wishes to your son on a speedy recovery.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Dr. Parks,

Thank you very much.

John
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