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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!.
45 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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.
2 Comments
Not sure where you got this information but it is wrong! It is impossible for fiberglass to breakdown into styrene.  Fiberglass is  just that glass fibers and is inert and inorganic.  Styrene is an organic compound typically derived from petrochemicals or coal and is used to make polystyrene - (Styrofoam). It also occurs naturally in cinnamon, coffee beans and peanuts.  Inorganic compounds cannot breakdown or create organic compounds.
Read carefully, no one said fiberglass breaks down into styrene. Styrene is a common polymer agent used in the production of fiberglass and that additive, as the DNB noted, does breakdown and is hazardous when inhaled.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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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