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Got exposed to porcelain dust. CT scan showed small patches of infiltrates on lung. Worrisome

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I had a bad incident where someone cut porcelain tile in my home and all the dust came upstairs into the living area. we tried to clean it up over the course of a few days, but it was more then i realized. My girlfriend would not leave the house and we ended up sleeping in the bedroom thinking that it was not in there, but i think it was also. im afraid i ended up breathing a lot of it in over that few days to a week.
This was just over two months ago. The tightness in my chest is almost gone, but i feel like i have a hollow breathing, especially on the exhale and a really dry crystally sounding cough. It is a voluntary cough occasionally, just to see if i can clear it.
I had a CT scan two weeks ago about that showed a few small patches of infiltrates on my upper right lung.
I also had a pft a few weeks ago that showed a small decline on the exhale.
I am trying to convince the pulmonologist that i see to give me a bronchoscopy.

I am worried about the possibility of actute silicosis? or other lung cancers in the future? permanent lung damage?, and or scarring in my mucoso epithelium or airways?

Im afraid this is the worst situation i have ever put myself in. I just want to be ok, even if it takes a year to heal up.
Posted Thu, 2 May 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 18 hours later

I have gone through your query and it is apparent that you are very anxious about your exposure to porcelain dust. I would like to assure you that you need`nt be so anxious because it hardly looks like silicosis. Acute silicosis is a much more serious condition and you would have been much more symptomatic. For chronic silicosis or lung cancer, the exposure has to be continuous or at least recurrent and much more prolonged say at least 10 years.

You may have developed symptoms because of exposure to dust which seem to be settling down. This symptoms and mild decline could be because of hypereactive airways as you have been a smoker in the past. For few patches of infiltrates in the rt upper lung, consult your pulmonologist. There is hardly any risk of permanent lung damage, acute silicosis and lung cancer. In my opinion there is no need of bronchoscopy at present.

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Follow-up: Got exposed to porcelain dust. CT scan showed small patches of infiltrates on lung. Worrisome 18 minutes later
ok, thank you.

what about respiratory damage to my epithelium? it seems hollow when i exhale and worried about the crystal sound deep in my chest when i cough?
Is that something that will go away? i am worried there is so much dust in my bronchi.

My chest tightness has gotten much better, but still some tightness and small pains in my chest.

can a bronchoscopy remove some of the dust that may still be in my bronchi?
or is it too late with it being over two months?

Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 10 minutes later

As i mentioned there does`nt appear to be any permanent damage to your bronchial epithelium. Whatever happened at the time of exposure appears to be only mild and temporary and whatever little damage was caused, must be healing as a natural defence mechanism of the body. The lungs also have there own defence mechanism of getting rid of harmful substances, be it dust or anything else and there does`nt appear to be any need for bronchoscopy at present.
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Follow-up: Got exposed to porcelain dust. CT scan showed small patches of infiltrates on lung. Worrisome 15 minutes later
thank you.

I truelly hope you are correct.
I just dont think anyone appreciates the amount of dust and duration of exposure. we were in the house for what ended up being several days. while most of the dust seemed to be cleaned up after the first two or three days, there was still dust in the air from it just being in the clothes and furniture and stuff. It became so cold that we could hardly open the windows. Just using rags and a shopvac to try and clean it. It was truly a nightmare, and now everyday i regret not leaving that house.

Can a bronchoscopy be used to clean out whatever remainder of dust is sitll in there? Maybe I can then move on with my life if they at least use it to examine me.
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 1 hour later

Since you insist on a bronchoscopy pl consult your pulmonologist for the same and if he deems it fit he may give you a bronchial lavage.

Take care.
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