Health Effects Of Breathing Oil Fire Smoke - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Health Effects Of Breathing Oil Fire Smoke

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With what could be hundreds of people potentially exposed to smoke from the massive oil fire sparked by a train derailment in Casselton, North Dakota, many people are wondering how breathing in that smoke can impact their health.

The Minnesota Department of Health says toxic gases can be found in oil smoke, such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.

Both gases can cause eye and nose irritation, decreased heart function, and increased airway reactivity. 

Immediate side effects from inhaling large amounts of oil smoke are also breathing-related, including coughing, wheezing, increased airway resistance, and respiratory infections.

It may also worsen existing health conditions.

But there is no evidence that exposure to the smoke greatly increases a person's cancer risk, because exposure to the smoke is typically very short in most cases.




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