Medical Minute: Wearing a safety mask during construction can help save your lungs, life

Published: Apr. 20, 2017 at 6:18 PM CDT
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As weather warms up, more and more people start tackling construction and home improvement projects. But it's important to remember to follow the proper safety measures.

Wearing the proper safety gear while doing any construction work can help keep you safe. In this week's Medical Minute, we speak with Trinity about what the possible effects of not wearing the right protection can have on your respiratory system.

When working around air toxins, like paint fumes and drywall dust, wearing the proper attire can save you from unnecessary damage to your body.

"Just being exposed to mold, dust, fine particulate matter, that's what can cause more respiratory issues," said Dr. Sean Stagna, Trinity allergy immunology physician

Like asthma, bronchitis or worse chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.

"People have a massive histamine release and histamine is a chemical that causes itching and can also cause what we call broncho constriction or broncho spasm. So, people can get symptoms of wheezing, airway irritation difficulty breathing," said Dr. Stagna.

Proper ventilation when in closed spaces is a must to keep you from being at risk of these respiratory problems.

Dr. Stagna says that even in construction sites or when working on home improvements, an N-95 mask like this one is recommended.

"It can happen fast you can breathe in some toxic fumes and end up laying down going to sleep," Daryl Sangray, Hight Construction carpenter.

Dr. Stanga says a good percentage of construction workers and home do-it-youselfers still forget to wear a mask when working around toxic fumes and air particulates.

But a safety mask can help save your lungs and your life.

If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the Trinity Allergy department by checking out its website.