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Silicosis And Overexposure to Silica Dust Am I At Risk? (Page 2)


March 10th, 2016
Why such small particles ?

I'm going to see a consultant tomorrow and I will ask him regarding silica exposure..
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replied March 16th, 2016
Does anyone have an update to their condition? I am in a similar situation and have a bit of anxiety over it. Exposure was twice, once three weeks ago and the last was one week ago. Feeling similar symptoms and I am concerned that I've messed myself up or have potentially put my family at risk of developing something down the road. Any info is appreciated.
Brian
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replied April 4th, 2016
Reaching out
I have a question for any of you. Do any of you have asthma? Or had it before you were exposed to the dust or whichever compound? I have been sick now for 4 yrs. I was exposed while there was a remodel going on at my work.
However, from reading all the above posts I didn't seen anyone who has stated that they had a pre-existing condition.
Since my exposure, I'm now severely sensitive around all dust (not just construction), perfumes, colognes, cleaning product, the weather (if it's too hot, too cold)..cigarette smoke.
this is the first time I've come across anyone whom has had any of the same experiences/symptoms.
Now I've been to the Cleveland Clinic and they gave me a diagnose of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.
Anyone else still having some of the issues?
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replied April 29th, 2016
I'm extremely nervous I potentially inflected lethal harm to myself. I dry sawed paver stones in late December for about 2-3 hours without protection and then another 2-3 hours with just a bandana. That night I felt my lungs full of crap. That feeling went away over the course of the next day. I finished my cutting project which was over the course of another 4 days in about 5 hour sections wearing a n-95 respirator. Then in late March (about 3 months after the project was completed) and through today I've had symptoms consistent with acute silicosis such as dry cough, chest burning and fatigue. I've seen the doctor several times over the past month and had an x-ray that was normal, but then a CT scan a couple of weeks afterwards that show minimal fluid at the very bottom of my lungs. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and given an anti-biotic which did seem to improve the gunk that was in my throat at the time but didn't improve my dry cough, chest pains or fatigue. I saw a pulmonary doctor yesterday who didn't seem all to concerned about my risks to the disease but also didn't rule it out. He also didn't have any answers for with what else it could be. I also contacted the maker of the pavers that I cut and they said that my exposure to the products would have required weeks of 40 hours a week cutting the stone without protection to be at risk. I'm doing more blood tests and the doctor wants to see me in a couple of months for lung function tests.
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replied April 29th, 2016
My experience this week...
This week I used a diamond blade saw to cut through lathe plaster and tile during a tare down . I too have had some mucous and shortness of breath about a week out.

I had a mask on during the worst of it and a fan in the window pulling the dust out of the small bathroom, At times the room was a complete haze of dust at times and I was covered in it.

While concerned, I think it will just pass. The people that survived World Trade towers on 911 inhaled far worst and the workers who are now suffering from the aftermath and cleanup were exposed to as much or more I think for months on end. Some of which are now 10+ years out with respiratory issues or have died.

While the condition I put myself through was probably similar, it was only for a few hours over two days not the months.

Not sure if that is a valid yard stick but it seems right to me. I will be more careful next time.
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replied May 31st, 2016
It takes years of exposure. The human body can take a lot of abuse. Go see a doctor.

In my case I had inflammation from the dust. Went away with steroid inhaler in about a week. And I thought I was going to die from silicosis given how I was breathing...

Long term, who knows. Lesson learned, wear a better mask and use better ventilation next time.
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replied June 22nd, 2016
Hello, i have also a story. I was an engineer student at the time. Last year in March 2015 I had some months in a laboratory trying to create cement. One of the first cements made is by mixing pouzzolanes with lime. Pouzzolane is a natural volcano stone very rich in silica. My goal was TO CREATE AMORPHOUS silica. But a little did I know about it s hazards to my health. I “baked” pouzzolane to 750 degrees celcius in order to deshydrate it and make it amorphous. And then i sifted? (I hope its the right word) it to gain molecules of 0,4 mm. WITHOUT ANY MASK OR HAND GLOVE.
The good news is that I was doing this only for some weeks. But i noticed short breathing that still occurs and it passed through my mind that it could be the case. I don’t remember if it started right after but is possible. But without any cough. Just short breathing and chest tightness. The period of exposure was very short but I was being exposed to a high concentration of almost pure amorphous silica.
I m sorry english is not my maternal language i hope i made myself understood please i m quite worried if anyone could help me I would really appreciate it.
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replied June 26th, 2016
Hi, presumably you have visited a doctor to discuss the issue? They may take an x-ray so any changes over time can be assessed. They x-ray also may give clues to any current issues. Maybe a lung specialist might provide better insight into your situation. Unfortunately there seems to be relatively little info on the Internet about silica and its dangers.
My best wishes to you!
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replied October 19th, 2016
Hi all - I have read all of your stories several times and feel as if I know you! I certainly feel I can relate to some of the fears and anxieties in this thread, but it's great we can all talk about it.

Here's my silica story: about 7 weeks ago (August 30), I was walking to the bus stop when I noticed they were doing construction at the stop i.e. pulling the concrete up off the sidewalk. I live in NYC so I'm used to this kind of thing, but I decided to wait down the street a little along with a few other people. Suddenly the construction guys started drilling into the sidewalk, which created a giant dust cloud that was carried by the wind straight toward me and the others. I thought about getting out of the way but didn't think it was a big deal if the construction guys were doing it in the open like that. When the dust reached me I put my mouth on my sleeve but was still able to taste it. It tasted somewhat sweet. The bus came and I got on but I pretty much immediately knew I had inhaled something bad. I almost overnight felt a chest tightness and burning sensation as well as major fatigue. I also immediately began to experience pretty bad insomnia (though I've always struggled with this on and off).

As the weeks have gone on I can't say that it's gotten worse but it definitely hasn't gotten better. I almost always feel overheated like I have a fever but no flu and I'm always tired and running into the cold room at work to try to cool off. I'm also experiencing a dry cough, though luckily there's no major shortness of breath.

Obviously, I've done all the same research as you all, and I wonder if I've inadvertently given myself silicosis. I take comfort in that it takes years of high exposure to develop, but perhaps my exposure was high enough to initiate the acute version?

I've been eating jaggery I picked up from the Indian grocery to try to help, but I'm not sure if it's doing anything. I also tried cupping which family friends has told me helps a lot with expelling nasty stuff from lungs but didn't seem to do much for me. Every morning I try to cough as hard as I can in the shower, hoping one day some of it will come out, but I'm just not sure what else do. I'm 28, otherwise healthy, and have trouble accepting I may have permanently damaged my lungs. Wanted to share my story here to find solace in the company of others who seem to be dealing with this awful thing.
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replied October 19th, 2016
The dust you inhaled could have set off an immune response (hence the fever). Silica dust seems particularly problematic e.g. see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC4714599/
I have had chronic bronchitis for the past 6 months after mixing motar/grout (for landscaping) for only a day or so.
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replied April 26th, 2017
I recently had ceramic tile floor removed and th installer failed to contain the area......I was not in cloud of dust but the dust travelled throughout my home and settled. I'm sure it is in vents as well because heat was on. I wet cleaned th dust I saw but it comes back and I keep finding in places..i.e. Drawers etc. new flor is not placed yet due to other home issues that need resolving, had a leak so I am living on cement slab and cardboard since feb.needless to say I was very upset and have had a cough since two weeks after. Saw two drs. Chest clear post nasal drip is clear but no infection, no shortness of breath but have a constant tickle in my throat and resulting cough since feb. I am terrified of silicosis. Appreciate any knowledge.
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replied January 24th, 2019
Hi,
I just learned of the risk of silicosis after the job was completed. We had a bathroom leak and hired a plumber to fix it . He did and offered to drywall the hole made in the wall ,it we said sure. He cancelled a few times finally came drywalled it put the mud over it and came back a few days later to sand it. It then needed more mud added so he did and said all I needed to do was sand it after it dried. He left the hand held sanding block; no mention of needing a mask nor did he leave one. So I sanded 3 spots each about 2-3 ft x 2 ft. I didn’t stop to investigate what the mud was made up of. My husband came home from work and asked if I had worn a mask and I said no; and was informed I should have. Well after doing research yes I absolutely should have but it’s too late now. Now I am concerned about acute silicosis. I am a nonsmoker and have no other lung issues. This was a one time sanding project maybe took an hour or two. I haven’t coughed, I had some reflux symptoms and added Prilosec and it seems to help. I went to urgent care 3 days later my O2 sat was 99% and my lungs were clear when he listened; but I keep worrying. Any input would be helpful
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replied September 24th, 2019
My Exposure Story
First off, I just wanted to let all of you know how much I appreciate everybody sharing your stories. When I had my exposure I was so incredibly worried and scared at the idea I may have permanently damaged my lungs due to my ignorance. I am grateful to know this has happened to many people and the results are not nearly as bad as what I was thinking. My exposure happened when I decided to fix up my bathroom. There was an old medicine cabinet that was taken out and in its place was a missing piece of drywall about 2x4 feet. I cut a new piece in my backyard and drilled the new piece in to cover the hole. I taped all around the edges with a joint compound that contained crystalline silica (didn't even know what this stuff was or that it was present, didn't read the label). I had bought an electric sander (corner cat) and 80, 120, and 220 grit sandpaper. After applying several layers of joint compound and letting it dry, I started sanding without a respirator or a dust collection system. I was in a dust cloud in my bathroom for about 10-15 minutes before I started feeling like I was having breathing problems and left the house to get some fresh air. I ended up ordering an adapter for my sander online and it took a couple of days to arrive in the mail. This next time I used the adapter and a dry/wet vac to collect the dust while I used the 80, 120, 220 grit sandpaper over the course of 1-1.5 hours without a mask. I felt minor effects. I finished the project up and remember I had irritation in my mouth and throat from the dust like I had a million little cuts. A couple of days later my lungs started to react pretty severely. I could feel a burning sensation (inflammation) and it lasted for 2-4 days and was very very unpleasant. I had tightness in my chest and felt like there was something in my throat that I could not cough out because whenever I coughed it felt like absolutely nothing was there and had trouble coughing (sounds weird but its the best way I can describe it). I had a low-grade fever for close to a week and severe anxiety over this whole experience because I was scared shitless. I had woken up multiple times in the middle of the night over a week and was very scared. It has been about 2 weeks and I am slowly starting to feel better. I have seen a pulmonologist (lung doctor), had a breathing test, an x-ray, and chatted with the doctor for about an hour. He believes there is virtually no chance of permanent damage over a couple of days of exposure, even though I had breathed in quite a bit of this powder, and the 220 grit produces a pretty fine powder as well. There are a couple of things I have learned that hopefully can put others minds at ease since I damn near had a heart attack over my exposure experience and stressing myself out. This is an occupational disease, it develops with low-high exposure over the course of years, not days. 220 ANSI grit sandpaper produces partices that average around 50 microns, your lungs can handle particles this size and cause for concern seems to start around 10 microns or less. Silicosis happens at around 2.5microns or less over a longer period of time, as the material builds up in your lungs and may rarely cause scarring. I was (and kind of still am) attributing everything to my exposure(scary for me), though there are other factors at play. I believe I may have had really bad timing and caught some type of viral infection on top of my severe reaction to the dust, as well as the sleep deprivation and anxiety surely amplifying my symptoms and overall very negative reaction to this whole situation(both physically and mentally). I had a severe reaction and did my lungs and health a great disservice, but truly believe I am going to be all right based on my obsession with getting answers and doing research on the topic, including reading all of these stories. I am still feeling kind of like crap close to 2 weeks later, but know I am going to be okay, even though experiencing breathing problems is incredibly scary when you are a relatively healthy person with no previous experience with this kind of thing. Please do not scare yourself into thinking you are going to die or that you permanently affected your lungs, give your body the time it needs to heal and don't attribute everything to the exposure, even if you are like me and are hyperaware of everything. Have faith in knowing that your lungs can get this crap out but it will take time. Please realize that everyone makes mistakes, and you are not stupid for not thinking about these kinds of things even though after the fact it may seem like common sense. Don't beat yourself up, just don't do it again and always protect your health and especially your lungs moving forward. I hope someone reads this and it saves them from all the stress and worries I myself went through. If you are truly concerned focus on how you will move forward and what you are going to do, not on what you have done that you cannot change. Go see a doctor, get Xrays, hell I even called the poison control hotline because I was so worried. I will update in time, know you are not alone, and more than likely you are going to be fine as long as you don't keep doing the same thing over and over again for years on end. Much love to all of you for sharing your experiences, it truly helped me as I hope this post will help you. -David
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replied October 10th, 2019
I wanted to provide an update. it's been almost a month later and a little over two weeks since my previous post and I am feeling a lot better. I still have some minor symptoms including acid indigestion strangely enough, and every once in a while will feel a little burning sensation in my lungs. The biggest problem at this point seems to be that my throat still feels strange as if there is something there, and there is a slight ticklish feeling. dry cough is pretty much gone and feeling 90-95 percent back to normal. no real pain to speak of but sometimes still have slight discomfort. I definitely did something to my lungs but feel pretty confident it was not permanent or minimal at best, even though I breathed in quite a bit of dust. I am hoping this throat thing goes away in a month or two and am willing to give it some more time. All in all, a very important lesson was learned, which is always consider your health while doing any of this stuff and realize once something goes in your lungs it's very hard to get it out. I have been doing a lot of working out and running which I feel helps a lot. I feel my body has been clearing a lot of this stuff out as well. My biggest focus has been trying not to worry myself to death and that has helped me a lot. Focused on staying positive and will provide an update sometime in the near future.
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replied October 25th, 2019
I figured out why my reaction was so bad, while I was sanding with my electric sander for 30-40 minutes it was hooked up to a dry/wet vacuum to collect the dust. I checked the vacuum afterwards and it turns out there was no bag or filter in the vacuum and it didn't collect any dust, just was blowing it around the bathroom while I was in there with the door closed the whole time. I was breathing in the fine dust for 30-40 minutes and it was extra fine because it was an electric sander using 220 grit. I am still alive, but I have seriously questioned if I am going to be okay on a daily basis for the last week or so. I cannot find any other incident regarding this kind of exposure, since this was a very high concentration of dust/exposure even though it was a short period of time. All tests came back okay including an xray/breathing test/ctscan and multiple visits with a pulmonologist. As of today it has been 7 weeks since this happened and I am still feeling pretty bad pain/discomfort in my chest/back and have some breathing problems and cannot sleep through the night. I have been focused on staying positive and pushing through this and staying strong. If anyone has anything comparable that has happened to them or know of anything please do share I would really like to know anything that I can compare my experience to.
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replied October 22nd, 2019
Another update, I recently had a ct scan done which also came back showing no cause for concern. The throat issues have gone away but have a reoccuring tightness in my chest, pain in my upper back and chest and some fatigue. I have a dry cough with little to no phlegm. The discomfort/pain is what has me concerned at this point and I am worried I will have to live with this discomfort but staying hopeful. I was given steroids (prednisone) and they seem to be helping a little. I did more research and determined the chemicals/minerals I inhaled were insoluble and if small enough (under 10 microns) can reach a part of the lungs in which your body cannot clear the material. Since they are insoluble they cannot dissolve and just stay there. Your immune system reacts because it cannot remove the dust and that causes inflammation which can cause scarring. I am still concerned because I did inhale a substantial amount of dust completely unaware of any of this information until after the fact and felt initial symptoms 8-10 days post-exposure. I am still coming to terms with the possibility that I have done something irreversible and will have to live with the consequences for the next forty years but I believe this is unlikely. I will continue to provide updates as time passes by, and I am hoping I will continue improving until I get to a point where I feel normal again.
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replied November 19th, 2019
Another update, I am feeling a lot better than I was last month and significantly better than when this all started happening about two months ago. I went to an occupational pulmonologist yesterday who specializes in occupational lung diseases including acute exposures. Based on my exposure, short (maybe 2 hours total over a week) but concentrated, it really is highly unlikely to nearly impossible to get silicosis from such a short term exposure. I still experience symptoms, mainly slight pain/discomfort/pressure in my chest and back and sometimes it feels like some kind of shortness of breath. These symptoms have been getting progressively better with time and I don't feel terrible anymore and I really don't believe I did any significant permanent damage. It is normal to feel symptoms for months and for these things to take a significant time to clear up, that is normal. That is the scary part for me, thinking after months I am still not better and wondering if I ever will be. Your body needs time to clear this stuff out, and the biggest changes happen the quickest. The smaller symptoms will take more time to clear up and that is over a longer period of time, sometimes 6-12 months from my understanding. I am expected to make a full recovery as time goes on and considering how just a couple months ago I felt like I was dying to current day I feel some pain/discomfort but I can breathe, I completely agree. The most important thing to do after you get past the initial shock of what happened is to forgive yourself because life happens. You also need to stop obsessing and get back to living your life because the more you make this front and center and longer it is going to take for you to get over it. Keep positive and have faith you will be fine. Get back to living your life. Keep track and compare how you felt after every month or two and reinforce the idea that you are making progress in the right direction. If after 6,9,12 months you are still concerned then go back to the doctor but you most likely will not have to because of the progress your body will make getting better in this amount of time.
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