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Effects of Dust on Your Lungs

Posted on Blog, Dirty Ducts February 15, 2018

According to recent statistics by the EPA, humans may breathe in about six pounds of dust and soil in a lifetime. If minimal amounts are inadvertently inhaled, adverse effects can be avoided but the real problem is when significant amounts are inhaled on a regular basis. Here’s a look at the effects of dust on your lungs.

Types of Dust

The size and type of the dust you inhale determines how toxic it is to your body. For example, wood dust is far less harmful than dust formed from metal or concrete. Moreover, the size of the dust particle is the detrimental factor that determines if it reaches the lungs. Small or fine particulates are the most harmful because they have a better chance of actually entering the lungs. These types of dust can easily penetrate deeply into your lungs, causing health issues as a result. Large particles are easier for your body to filter out by swallowing or exhaling.

The Body’s Protection Against Dust

The human body has adapted to deal with small amounts of dust with a series of defense mechanisms. The first layer of protection is the nose, which filters and captures larger particles. If dust gets through the nasal passage, it is usually captured by the mucus in your throat. Unfortunately, if the particles are small enough, the dust will reach the lungs where the cilia and macrophages cells will try to contain them.

Reactions to Dust Exposure

The height of the reaction to dust exposure is also influenced by the amount of dust in the air and how long you’re exposed to it. If you are constantly breathing in heavy levels of dust, it can cause problems such as:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Allergic reactions
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Hay fever
  • Eye and nasal passage irritation

Prolonged exposure can also cause a number of more serious respiratory problems such as various lung diseases resulting in fibrosis.

 

Who’s Most at Risk?

Everyone is susceptible to extreme levels of dust inhalation, but adults’ immune systems have the strongest defense. In particular, babies, young children, and the elderly are most at risk as they have weakened immune systems and are therefore more vulnerable to the toxicities found in dust.

Don’t put your family’s health and well-being at risk. Contact All Year Cooling today to seal, restore, and sanitize your ducts for clean, breathable air that won’t put your family’s health in danger.

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