There are a variety of substances you can inhale that can cause acute internal injuries. Particles in the air from fires and toxic fumes can damage your eyes and respiratory system. They also can make chronic heart and lung diseases worse.
Symptoms of acute inhalation injuries may include
- Coughing and phlegm
- A scratchy throat
- Irritated sinuses
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Stinging eyes
- A runny nose
- If you already have asthma, it may get worse.
The best way to prevent inhalation injuries is to limit your exposure. If you smell or see smoke, or know that fires are nearby, you should leave the area if you are at greater risk from breathing smoke.
Environmental Protection Agency
- Protect Yourself and Your Family from Debris Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Forest Fires and Respiratory Health (American Lung Association)
- How to Properly Put On, Take Off a Disposable Respirator (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Backyard Burning: Human Health (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Certain Glass Wool Fibers (Inhalable) (National Toxicology Program) - PDF
- Chemical Sensitivities (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)
- Fiberglass (American Lung Association)
- Health Effects of Wood Smoke (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Particle Pollution (American Lung Association)
- Particle Pollution (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)