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Does breathing in contaminated air cause neurological problems?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1383 Questions
Question
I was on a bus for 20 minutes and was breathing in contaminated air. I reported it to the bus company and they said the breather tube came off so the bus was contaminated with motor oil vapor. Can you tell me if this could make me sick or cause neurological problems?
Posted Fri, 28 Mar 2014 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 38 minutes later
Brief Answer: Not much Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for posting your query on HealthcareMagic. I do not think you may have gotten any symptoms or effects of the motor oil fumes. You have been exposed to motor oil vapor for only a short duration. Since it has a high boiling point, it is not much of an inhalation hazard for you, since the quantities in air would be very small to cause anything. Prolonged exposure can cause contact dermatitis-means skin rash due to irritant. It may sometimes induce nausea and vomiting. Contact with motor oil for prolonged periods can be carcinogenic, mutagenic and can have effects on human reproductive systems. In people exposed to fumes for atleast 6 months period may induce difficulty in breathing, coughing, irritation of eyes, throat and lungs. headaches, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing. It is called as aerotoxic syndrome and is caused by the organophosphate component of some motor oils. If the oil contained organophosphates (though less chances) then it may have caused neurological effects that are temporary. Hope it helps. Dr Vaishalee
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Follow-up: Does breathing in contaminated air cause neurological problems? 35 minutes later
Thank you for your prompt response, Dr Vaishalee. Is this true even when there was a strong smell inside of the bus?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 17 minutes later
Brief Answer: Mostly yes Detailed Answer: Hi again Yes it is true even if there was a strong smell inside the bus unless you have had symptoms after the exposure. If you have had symptoms then I would worry. Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Does breathing in contaminated air cause neurological problems? 32 minutes later
Okay, if these are the symptoms you mentioned, I don't recall having symptoms immediately after. Thank you very much for your help.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 1 hour later
Brief Answer: You are safe Detailed Answer: Thanks for consulting me Take care Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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