Pediatricians warn of high risk of dust inhalation, spread in social media videos

A recent advertisement on social media of a so-called “euphoria challenge”, in which teenagers imitate cocaine sniffing, using the powder, obtained from the scrapings of dried school corrector, for the sniffing , worries the doctors.

It needs protective mechanisms to ensure the elimination of inhaled particles and infectious agents, which permanently reach its mucous membrane (from the nostrils to the bronchioles)”.

Inhaling particles of a different nature can cause damage that can compromise the proper functioning of breathing. The president of the Pediatric Society of Rio Grande do Sul, Sérgio Amantéa, warns of the high risks of the practice. “The respiratory tract is a complex structure that establishes an excellent interface with the external environment. It has a gas-conducting function that will be responsible for directing oxygen to the alveolar units responsible for oxygenating the blood. Thus, it needs protective mechanisms to ensure the elimination of inhaled particles and infectious agents, which constantly reach its mucous layer (from the nasal passages to the bronchioles). Inflammation can result from an attack on this mucous membrane, whether by physical or chemical agents, of infectious or allergic origin,” he explains.

What are the harmful health effects of inhaling this substance?

The magnitude of the insult will depend on the characteristics of the inhaler and its physicochemical properties, the amount of inhaled substance and the periodicity of the act of inhalation. It is assumed that the damage or its extent may be greater the higher the dose or frequency of use.

Chemical composition

The concealer is based on water (solvent function), ethanol (drying function) and contains toxic substances such as titanium dioxide (white color of the paints), polymers and dispersants (to maintain the consistency and the homogenization of the mixture).

Animal studies with titanium dioxide demonstrate toxic effects on various cell lines (nerve, lung and blood). In humans, its effects are still unknown. Its crystals have been found deposited more frequently in the pancreas of diabetic patients.

The direct chemical action of inhaling concealer can:

• Compromising defense mechanisms and predisposing to local infections (rhinosinusitis, pneumonia), in addition to bleeding and dryness of the nasal cavities.
• Activate immune responses: promote attacks or aggravate inflammatory processes linked to bronchial asthma or allergic rhinitis
• Decreased transport and gas exchange efficiency: chemical pneumonia
The usual action can:
• Stimulation of the consumption of drugs and illicit substances similar to the aforementioned “challenge”.
The action on the mucosa can:
• Stimulate systemic (blood) absorption by the respiratory tract and secondarily manifest the symptoms associated with exogenous intoxication.

Can they have permanent sequelae?

There are no long-term data to reliably establish this answer. However, the potential for acute damage exists and some of these acute manifestations may have sequelae depending on the intensity of the damage. The induction generated by the habit itself, as already mentioned, can influence future undesirable behaviors with serious sequelae.

In a chronic situation, what type of treatment is carried out?

This question is interesting. We are not talking about an illegal drug. We are not talking about chemical dependency or drug addiction. In today’s context, we are talking about deviant behavior. An incitement to drug consumption by the actors of the protest. From my point of view, prevention goes through information.

From a health and treatment point of view, our current actions may be necessary regarding the effect of aggression on the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and the potential for manifestations of intoxication. In this scenario, depending on the manifestation, nasal washout maneuvers, use of antimicrobials or anti-inflammatories may be indicated depending on the clinical presentation presented.

Photo: Disclosure | Source: Advisory

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