Discussions By Condition: Repiratory conditions

Exposure to Silica dust (from Gold Bond Body Powder)via forced air furnace

Posted In: Repiratory conditions 1 Replies
  • Posted By: econstab
  • February 4, 2011
  • 03:05 AM

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.


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?

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1 Replies:

  • I've read your post and, while it is somewhat consoling to find another with the same concerns, it's also a horrible limbo to be in. I've recently had acute respiratory symptoms that mimic bronchitis or possibly asthma (both of which hadn't ever been present before). Proud non-smoker for last two years... Anyhow, I was hospitalized overnight last week with shortness of breath and a sputum (mucus plugs are more like it) producing hack (forced by me) to help eleviate the heaviness. Otherwise, lungs were clear and was given a rescue inhaler as well as Fluconase. They tested other body functions, but most notably my lungs sounded and were found clear via Xray while my oxygen level indicated nearly 100% each time. Sound familiar? Well, as of last night, symptoms have returned, even with these aids. While researching possible lung diseases and allergens... I came across your post about Silica. And it occured to me that I've been such a careless user of Shower to Shower for a number of YEARS! And the most horrible part is that I was CARELESS! No idea whatsoever that it could contain a harmful agent. Some call it a poison. The ingredient list on this product refers to "talc." Well, when one Googles talc, one reads Silica into that term. I'm freaking out! Because I think about slathering the stuff on myself and allowing the 'unattached' particles to drop to the carpeting or wherever they'd land just before I would dress. I don't consider myself to be a slob, but as far as vacuuming, I live alone and really don't do it that often (with an arthritic hip - as an excuse). So, in my guestimation, the stuff would become airborne again every time I'd walk over it - and with nowhere else to go, you see what I'm getting at? I just found out about Silica and Silicosis(sp) 10 minutes ago and already I am consumed with all-consuming dread. How many years and how much of this stuff have I ingested down into my lungs? Please don't allow my fears to worsen yours! I think in your case it hasn't been long enough, volume-wise? But, perhaps even worse than all of that... my grandson just turned 3. He visits me daily. Can you only imagine how much stuff gets fluffed back up into the air with a crawler or a toddler stomping through all the rooms of this apartment? I'm so afraid that he will become afflicted with some horrible disease now because of my NOT HAVING ANY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THIS. MY NOT EVEN KNOWING TO THINK ABOUT (my body perspiration or sweat and the choice of product) THIS AS HAVING A CONSEQUENCE ATTACHED TO IT! My grandson's lungs are brand new and so small - I can only think that all of the talc I've used must be overwhelming to such little lungs.I know that this will have to come up at my doctor visit. I feel for you having been not taken seriously by yours! I hope I can write back to you on here with some helpful advice or information I might obtain. And maybe you'll do the same:) Thank you for listening to such a long response. I hope and pray that we both find out benign results... along with some amazing relief to our symptoms! Sher
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 22, 2011
    • 00:06 AM
    • 0
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