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How Does Smoke Affect Our Body?

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

A doctor presses the stethoscope against the back of a child. Smoke affects our bodies in different ways depending on our age, previous ailments, and duration in the smoke.

Inside smoke from fire are several chemical irritants, such as chlorine, ammonia, hydrogen chloride, and sulfur dioxide. Smoke inhalation irritates the respiratory tract lining which can result in the collapsing of the airway. Some people are more prone to bodily damage from smoke. Older adults may have weaker internal organs which can be harmed quicker from smoke inhalation. Because children and teenagers’ bodies are still developing, smoke can affect them more intensely than a fully developed adult. Anyone with heart or lung disease or diabetes can have their conditions be triggered by smoke damage, resulting in stroke or heart attack. Pregnant women are at danger themselves due to the changes in their body, but the fetus can also be heavily affected, preventing normal development stages from occurring.

Smoke first affects anyone inhaling it by burning the eyes, making the nose runny, inducing coughing and wheezing. If chest pain or fatigue occurs there might be more severe damage being experienced, and people with such symptoms need to be removed from the room or building as quickly as possible to prevent fainting or cardiac arrest.

Even a strong, fully developed adult can be at risk for severe damage due to the chemicals in the air as mentioned before. This is why firefighters wear masks when entering a burning building, and why it is not recommended to attempt to save anyone without the proper gear. Carbon monoxide poisoning first causes the person to faint and then continues to enter the body until it has shut down the function of the major organs, killing them after they’ve gone unconscious.

This is important information to know in case of a fire in your home. While your natural instinct may be to save other people within the home, staying any longer within a burning building can cause unseen damage. Immediately call the fire department and exit the building. They have the gear to enter and exit in a safe manner, while keeping everyone affected by a fire safe.

While the most important consideration following a fire is the safety of the family, when it is time to repair the damage, hire your local SERVPRO. Firefighters respond to a fire currently in progress, and SERVPRO responds to everything that follows.

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