In 1930’s fiberglass was invented by an American company for the purpose of home insulation. With growing demand and innovative methods, this man-made fiber is also utilized for industrial purposes such as, making electronic circuit boards, automobile and aircraft industry and as roofing material.
Coming to fiberglass, it is made up of tiny cylindrical glass fibers or glass wool. While cutting or sawing fiberglass or sheets of fiberglass, tiny dust particles get airborne. These dust particles can deposit itself on the skin or can be inhaled in your lungs. At times fiberglass dust may be swallowed if you do not follow proper instructions while handling the fiberglass sheet.
What Are The Effects Of Fiberglass Inhalation?
Once the micro dust particle of fiberglass enters in your respiratory tract, they are expelled out very soon. They do not get entrapped in the air sacs of the lungs, as it occurs with asbestos particles. The cough produced due to irritation will throw out the fiberglass dust together with phlegm from the lungs and throat. In the process, fiberglass can produce bronchitis like symptoms. The phlegm can be dark grey or brown in color. Inhaling fiberglass dust can trigger an episode of asthma in people who are known asthmatic patients.
More research needs to be done to know whether fiberglass is responsible for lung cancer. Till now, there is little information regarding fiberglass dust and lung cancer, or rather it is believed to be a non carcinogenic product.
Other effects on health of fiberglass dust exposure:
Fiberglass dust can become health hazard for workers who are constantly working with fiberglass and the dust released from it. Besides your lungs, fiberglass dust particles can affect your skin. The dust can become embedded on the outer surface of the skin. It can produce rash and itching in few individuals.
Irritation of eyes, watering of eyes, and redness of eyes is common for a worker who is not wearing an eye-wear while working with fiberglass. There may be gastric irritation and discomfort if the fiberglass dust or particles are accidentally swallowed. Sore throat and nasal irritation are common after you come across the dust particles of fiberglass.
Home Remedies For Fiberglass On Skin
- It is necessary to take all preventive measures, especially for the workers working in fiberglass industry. Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth is necessary.
- Liberally dust talcum powder over your body before you start working with fiberglass. The powder will prevent the dust particles to enter deep into the skin as it blocks the pores.
- Alternate cold and hot bath will wash out fiberglass dust that has deposited on the skin and the pores.
- If at all there remains any dust particle on the skin after bathing, you can apply baby oil on your skin so that the dust particle becomes loose and can be wiped out.
- Apply good moisturizer if you get itching and rash from fiberglass dust.
- You may suffer from irritation and cough if you have inhaled fiberglass dust. The dust particles may remain for few days or weeks before they are expelled out with phlegm. However, to initiate the process onion juice is an effective home remedy. Onion juice with honey can help to liquefy the phlegm and facilitate easy removal of fiberglass dust with phlegm.
- If at all the dust is causing trouble to your eyes and burning sensation or redness, wash it with plain water as often as you can to remove the dust.