As Bizarre as this sounds,
I have been breathing in "silica dust" for the last 3 weeks from GOLD BOND ( brand)Body Powder.
READ THIS if you have had any recent home INSULATION or a new "high efficiency" furnace installed..so you won't have this happen to you
This took some good detective work on my part.
I have had a cough for the last few weeks (never smoked)..
Cough has worsened. Shortness of breath; all the symptoms of silicosis. Doctor thinks "it's in my head " because when they put that little "clip" on my finger, I don't show a deficiency of oxygen.
Hardwood floors have dried out , too and my one dog seems to have "gone blind" overnight (she is 13 but it has literally happened in the 3 week time span)
I discovered the source of this ONLY because I have one of those "Ionic Breeze" electro-static air cleaners. I usually clean it once a month..it always just has a black residue on it but this time there was a chalky white powder I had never seen before..it was bone dry.
I then looked in my heat registers and noticed residue.
I had a new furnace installed in October which has a special Hepa filter in it (not the standard type) and the house was newly insulated, so everything is really tight..no place for particles to escape.
The furnace filter looked clean (and I have a long haired dog) except for this whitish powder. I took the filter outside and hit it against the fence..white powder was picked up by the breeze and made an actual "cloud"...
I had someone come here and use a Hepa vac to clean out the air ducts and they blew out the furnace filter with an air compressor ( another huge "cloud " of white powder came out).They also wet wiped everything.
At first everyone suspected it was coming from my wood buring fireplace...that is was ASH...somehow it got sucked into the cold air return (and the new furnaces do suck a lot more than the old ones ; We literally took some dog hair from my collie and dropped it INTO the cold air register ..then went into the basement to check the furnace filter...There was the dog hair !)
So...I had been using this GOLD BOND Body Powder and even though I put a bath towel down to cover the heat register in the bathroom...I hung the towel up over the same register to dry AND the cold air register is IN THE HALLWAY...
So..all this powder (which...DOES contain SILICA...was sucked into the furnace until the filter could not absorb it any longer ...then it came back up through my heat registers and was circulated throughout the house.
Fortunately I discovered it...
I don't know how I am going to be cured..
and my one dog has lost her vision..
The little dog probably has health issues I don't notice (he has to)...
I am a retired school teacher and I kept saying this "powder reminded me of chalkdust" because it was so drying...and that it behaved almost like "silica"......Well, it turns out , I was right.
READ LABELS ..
I looked at some other brands of body powder and also BABY Powder..those don't say they contain "silica" but one of them "Shower to Shower" does say it contains "mica" but I think it's to make it sparkle on your skin...
Baby Powder says it's just Cornstarch and fragrance.
Anyone have advice for me as far as treating my symptoms?
Again..my doctor did NOT take me seriously for the symptoms (I do not have an "at risk" job and did not know I had been exposed to silica ).
Can short-term over exposure to silica dust BE treated?
I have thought about going to a steam room...but would that make it worse?