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Fiberglass inhalation
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Fiberglass inhalation

Hi.

I was exposed to fiberglass as well when it fell out of the ceiling. I inhaled it and since then I have been sensitive to smoke and car fumes. I also keep feeling like something is stuck in my throat and have throat pain which increases when i speak as well as trouble breathing.  I feel the restriction in my chest when i walk, like a tightness. It get worse when it rains. I went to a pulmonologist who is now refering me to a cardiologist. I couldnt find any test that would show fiberglass. I have had MRI and CT scans as well as ultrasounds. The ultrasound showed swelling around the throat area.I had been referred for a doplar ultrasound. My throat has been teste and no pathogens found, not bacteria or virus but they didnt test for debris. I have used a lot of natural remedies and well as inhalers and other medications. I there a test that would sample the debris in my throat. .


This discussion is related to I inhaled Fiberglass Insulation -- Please Help!.
17 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Fiberglass is a silicate fiber and can reduce lung function and cause inflammation. It can also cause skin, eye and throat irritation. At higher exposure levels, fiberglass also has been associated with skin rashes and difficulty in breathing. Was the lung function tests normal?

Fiberglass emits a synthetic material called styrene, which is a possible carcinogenic. Styrene and its breakdown products can be measured in your blood, urine, and body tissues. Styrene leaves your body quickly. If you are tested within one day, the actual amount of exposure can be estimated. However, it is difficult to predict the kind of health effects that might develop from that exposure.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for that information. The breathing test did show reduced lung funtion. I would like to know of case studies or real life cases of how people treated this condition and how living with it long term affected their lives.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

To begin with it is mostly prevention. Always wear a dust mask in areas where exposure is likely, to help avoid inhaling glass fibers. The damage which has already been done will be there. Treatment is usually symptomatic. Antibiotics for infections and bronchodilators for bronchospasm. And of course avoidance of smoking to prevent further damage to the lungs. To improve lung function practice breathing exercises.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
The exposure was done without warning. Several people were affected. Many reporting same or similar symptoms. I was/am on antibiotics, nasal sprays, inhalers, steroids and other drugs to the point that I developed edema and acid reflux. I never smoked in my life and never liked how it smelled but now it affects me to the point of feeling like air was sucked out of my lungs, loosing my breath and feeling faint, just by someone passing by.

I did find some information,

Health hazards associated with moldy fiberglass in buildings, with focus on fiberglass insulation, fiberglass fragments, fiberglass in heating and air conditioning duct work, and invisible but toxic mold growth in fiberglass which has been wet, exposed to high humidity, or exposed to other moldy conditions. Small glass fiber fragments are easily "lost" in other non-fungal granular debris in building dust. Level of airborne fiberglass in buildings may be faulty if the methods used to screen for fiberglass fragments do not include small, even sub-micron particles along with the common large particles.Fiberglass fragments are inorganic material typically from fiberglass insulation; depending on their size and quantity these may be a respiratory irritant or may contribute to more serious health concerns. It is possible that small fiberglass particles in air may constitute a meaningful health risk which has not been explored.
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Avatar_n_tn
There are conflicting reports on breathing exercises and breathing deeply if there are fiberglass particles lodged in the lungs or throat. Since the particles don't pass out of the body as the whole fragments, it may cause the particles to get lodged deeper into the lung tissue and cause other issues. I guess the hope is that the particles would migrate safely into the blood stream and not get lodged where it could cause clots, cysts or cancer.
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Avatar_n_tn
Also fiberglass is glass fibers and they cut. I wonder if some of the sensitivity is capillaries or veins being exposed or cut by the lodged particles creating a direct path for infections into the blood stream. Many people reported have to increase hand washing and having to be very particular with what they eat because eating any thing not fully cooked or slightly contaminated creates an immediate sore throat in addition to the existing throat pains.
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Avatar_n_tn
Common symptoms of fiberglass overdose
•persistent, dry, hacking "barking" cough
•sore throat, bloody taste in throat or blood in sputum
•bloody nose
•persistent, occasionally very severe, sinusitis and rhinitis which does not respond to common medical treatment,
•especially treatment for allergies,
•persistent, occasionally severe respiratory infections which, again, do not respond to common medical treatment,
•headaches, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, depression,
•asthma-like breathing attacks or constant wheezing,
•other allergy-like symptoms (which do not respond to allergy treatment),
•"reactive airway disease,"
•swollen, red, watery, infected eyes,
•skin infections, ranging from mild to very severe, requiring hospitalization,
•extreme sensitivity to everyday amounts of ambient pollutants, especially: cigarette smoke, car exhaust, perfumes and colognes, some cleaning products, paints and varnishes, new paneling, cabinetry or furniture made with particle board or strand board, new cars and other new plastic, foams used for furniture and bedding, new carpeting.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just out of curiosity, are you feeling better. I may have a similar problem, and am curious to know if you were treated and are feeling better, if time eventually worked it out of your system or if it has continued to be a nuisance.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
Fibreglass is an irritant, but the way the fibres break up, they cannot get lodged into the Alveoli.  So in time technically, they should be coughed up.

It is the chemicals used to make the fibreglass that causes the irritations.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like the see the research study that you are speaking of that shows fiberglass or tissue penetrating fiberglass passes 100% out of lungs. I would like to see the study showing micron and submicron as well as whole fiber particles were inhaled then all passed out of the lungs.
Many times foreign bodies have to be manually removed from tissue. However, penetrating foreign bodies are more difficult to remove. Foreign bodies don’t all pass through the body is as you suppose. Ask any soldier wounded by shrapnel, miner, or exposure victim. Additional reports have demonstrated subcutaneous soft tissue foreign bodies from splinters to bullet fragments found years after the traumatic event.
Patients with glass embedded in a wound are more likely to report the sensation of foreign bodies. Unrecognized bronchial foreign bodies cause irreversible changes in the airways. Some foreign bodies may move from the throat into the bronchial branches. This can cause the patient to cough, but the foreign body remains trapped in the lung.
All glass is radiopaque; and there is limited ability for radiography to detect glass fragments smaller than 2 mm. Many foreign bodies are surrounded by a hypo echogenic area representing inflammation.
Most of the foreign bodies were found in the right bronchus. The interbronchial foreign bodies were recovered by bronchoscopy, while some were recovered during emergency tracheotomy and bronchotomy.
The exposure that I was in, included the blowing of the foreign bodies by fans causing them to become projectile. Everyone was coughing, causing a greater exposure and a greater chance if the substances to be imbedded into the throat and lungs. However, you are correct when saying the chemicals from the fiberglass adds to the damage to the body and tissues.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your concern. No I am not feeling or doing much better. I have continuous pain and discomfort to my throat and lungs. I have trouble breathing, tightness of chest, chest pain, squeezing of the chest, heaviness of the chest, shortness of breath, labored breathing, etc. I am on asthma medication, finally one that does not cause many side effects, but I am not sure if it is actually working. Some days are better than others. I have throat pain, a feeling that something is stuck in my throat, increase pain, feeling of a sore throat and swelling with prolonged talking which if continued develops into hoarseness, difficulty swallowing and difficulty speaking with a greater chance of infection. When I speak “too much” or sing my voice breaks. It has affected my work and employment outlook. I am constantly fatigued and have not been able to do a full schedule of house work in the years since the exposure. I have other symptoms including drug reactions. Recommended tests would be a CT, ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound, and fluoroscopy of the neck; bronchoscopy of the lungs; MRI of the brain w/contrast; Methyl Ethyl Ketone blood test; a toxicology of suspected chemicals/substances using blood, urine and tissue samples sent to a lab that does submicron testing for debris; Body Burden testing. Recommended doctors would be top rated ENT, Neurologist, Pulmonologist, Medical Toxicologist, Primary Care Physician and if you can find doctor with a past history of exposure cases even better. I pray you receive good care and assistance. Let me know how you progress or if you find any information in this issue that may help. Thanks.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
Sorry to hear that you are still very unwell.

According to MedHelp Policy I am not able to write the web address that I got my information from.  You can type in your address bar "fibreglass in lungs" and you will get sites that come up with the information.  Toolboxtopics ******* typed into your address bar should bring up the information that I read.  There is also information on the American Lung Association site.

There is another site with regard to finer fibreglass particles that is used as insulation in fridges and cabinets and the very fine particles can enter the Aveoli.

What I read was that when asbestos is inhaled, the fibres as very small and when they reach the Alveoli, the Alveoli which are the little sacs in the lungs close around the dust particles.

Because fibreglass is a much larger particle, it does not get into the Alveoli sac.  That doesn't mean it doesn't cause other problems.

I agree with you that what goes into the body is not always excreted.  I have a cactus needle embedded in my body that has been there for the last 30 years causing a painful lump.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all the posts,
I hope you all are doing ok,
I recently had an exposure to what i believe may be airborne moldy fiberglass, when a maintenance worker tore out some fiberglass insulation from an antique oven (my original guess was it asbestos, but it tested negative). I've had symptoms similar to yours, although less severe.

Initially I had an inflamed nasal passage and throat, and slightly inflamed eyes. Then blood in sputum I sneezed up, and chest pain, shortness of breath, and sensitivity to smoke, etc.

I hope to read any updates you have. Best wishes
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry the hear about your exposure. I hope you feel better and get quality care. Try RateMds, Healthgrades or Vitals for help finding good doctors. InspectApedia has some information on fiberglass and mold exposure. Each substance by it self has damaging effects but when you combine them the way it affects the body is multiplied like in all chemistry; vinegar or baking soda acts a certain way until you combine them. Please post any observations of findings by you or your doctors. More studies need to be done about the combination effects of substances that naturally occur together; exposure to dust, dust mites, insect waste, fiberglass and mold is a different exposure to just dust and dust mites. Thanks. GOD bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
Other symptoms that may be related are nodules in the thyroid with a negative thyroid issue(found with an ultrasound) gallstones, bladder cystitis, black/dark stool, lower back pain, abdomen pain, fatigue. I recommend that exposure patients journal their symptoms at least for a few month to see how your symptoms develops and to not miss any seemingly unrelated symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am sorry to hear you have health problem,   How much fiberglass did you breath?  i ask you because today my Ductwork was change and i breath some fiberglass,  i dont fell bad, i have dry nose, i am cleaning all my house because i have 2 kids,

gos bless you
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Avatar_f_tn
I have read this and found it very interesting....  

In past almost two years....  I have had chronic sinus infections, multiple antibiotics, steroids, inhalers, breathing treatments.  Two sinus surgeries in past year, lung xrays, EKG, Stress Test, Breathing test (which revealed low intake on inhale), Allergy Test, Endoscopy, Throat ballooned open to stretch opena constriction.... (last two year just this past week).  I also have inquirred with HVAC company about upgrade unit it is past its life expectancy......  one company pointed out that fiberglass insides in duct work was detoriating rapidly.  Research and seeing that this could be cause.  Note I just married on 10/06/2012 but was living there at least 6 months before wedding.  

Where do I go from here?

I have constant nasal type drainage, feeling of lump in throat, heaviness in chest, sometimes to point of a pain in center of chest between boobs and at times goes clean through to my back.  I have trouble sleeping, even with medication, and I am exhausted always.  I get winded carrying a load of laundry up the steps.....  I am almost 40, 5'9" in height and just under 150 lbs., female.....  so its not a weight issue.  

Any help would be appreciated?
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