Inhaling burning rubber or plastic is harmful as it may contain chemicals and poisons, such as carbon monoxide and cyanide. Inhaling harmful smoke from rubber can irritate the lungs and airway, causing them to become swollen and blocked.
When the airway and lungs are damaged, oxygen cannot get into the blood and the risk of respiratory failure increases. Respiratory failure refers to when you cannot breathe well enough for the oxygen to reach the cells in your body.
What May Happen When You Breathe in Burning Rubber
Here are some symptoms of breathing in rubber or any harmful smoke. Remember that the intensity of these depends on the source of the smoke and how long you have been exposed to it.
- Cough and hoarseness
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Soot in nostrils or throat
Major Risks of Inhaling Burning Rubber
Smoke inhalation from rubber or plastics is a serious injury. It must not be treated lightly, and treatment should be obtained as soon as possible. If it is not treated on time, the smoke from the burning rubber may cause permanent damage to the lungs, resulting in lifetime breathing issues. In fact, your lungs run the risk of becoming infected, swollen, and filled with fluid.
When the lungs are filled with fluid, you may face shortness of breath which may lead to eventual respiratory failure. This has severe effects on the heart and brain and may be potentially life-threatening. Despite treatment, you may be diagnosed with permanent lung damage.
How to Treat Someone Who Has Inhaled Smoke from Burning Rubber
Here are a few treatment methods that may be used to treat someone with severe smoke inhalation:
Antidotes are substances that can stop or control the effects of the smoke one has inhaled from the burning rubber. However, healthcare professionals may use different antidotes to treat you, depending on the kind of smoke you inhaled.
Bronchodilators are used to open up air passages in the lungs when the patient cannot breathe properly, is wheezing, or is facing shortness of breath.
Similar to bronchodilators, steroid medication helps open up air passages, allowing you to breathe easily and deeply.
In serious cases, inhaling the smoke from burning rubber may cause an infection in the lungs. Antibiotics are used to help prevent or treat an infection.
5. Medication for Pain, Swelling, or Fever
Most of these medicines are safe to be used for symptoms that are not severe. However, they can cause complications for patients who have a history of certain medical conditions.
In case you have a history of liver or kidney disease or a history of internal bleeding, make sure to let your healthcare professionals know beforehand.
When You Should Call 000 or Seek Immediate Care
Do not delay and call special care services if you:
- Cough up or vomit blood
- Face palpitations, rapid heartbeat, or chest pain
- Have excessive shortness of breath
- Feel weak and have pale, clammy skin
- Are wheezing
- See your lips or fingernails turn blue
Do not inhale smoke from burning rubber or plastic!