According to Burn Institute, more than half of the fire-related deaths are caused by smoke and soot inhalation. This occurs when you breathe in steam, noxious chemicals, and superheated gasses. Smoke comprises carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and soot. In addition, it may also carry harmful chemicals including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, benzene, metals, and so on.
Soot, on the other hand, contains fine black carbon-based particles generated from incomplete combustion of oil, coal, wood or other fuel types. Comprising of acids, chemicals, soils, dust, metals, and chemicals, soot inhalation can prove extremely dangerous.
Depending on the content of the smoke or soot, inhalation from even short-term exposure can result in potential dangers. Here are some ways in which smoke and soot inhalation can impact your health:
Dangers of Smoke Inhalation
Pain in the Chest
Excessive smoke inhalation can cause irritation in your respiratory tract, obstruct oxygen flow to the heart, and exacerbate lung and heart conditions, all of which often lead to chest pain.
Whenever a fire breaks out, the release of carbon monoxide becomes inevitable. Anyone who inhales it excessively may suffer from a headache. In case of serious poisoning, vomiting and nausea may result.
Your respiratory tract has mucous membranes. They secrete more mucous when irritated due to smoke inhalation. Depending on the volume of burned particles in your lungs or trachea, mucus may be black, gray or clear. This condition, combined with muscle tightening, results in reflex coughing.
Shortness of Breath
Due to smoke inhalation, your respiratory tract is compromised, which reduces the delivery of oxygen to the blood. Plus, your blood's ability to carry oxygen also decreases. Because of both these reasons, you may increase shortness of breath.
Due to lack of oxygen, your skin may appear bluish or pale, while carbon monoxide poisoning may turn it bright red in color. Also, you might experience burns on the skin.
Dangers of Soot Exposure
Soot occurs after a fire or after excessive use of candles. Soot adversely affects indoor air quality, exposure to which can cause coronary heart disease, bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.
On top of that, soot inhalation can result in watery eyes, a runny nose, and a persistent cough. It proves most disastrous for those with existing respiratory health issues, heart conditions, and compromised immune systems.
Hence, the best approach is to stay well-prepared for whatever lies ahead. Fire hazards are unpredictable and even if you’re able to extinguish the fire quickly, you may not be able to protect yourself and your family from the resultant smoke and soot inhalation. If your home recently faced fire damage, contact S.T.O.P. a dependable home restoration company that services in North Las Vegas, Providence, Cadence, East Las Vegas and many other areas.To get in touch, please dial now on (702) 803-3094