How does inhalation fever apply to you? Inhalation fever can occur after extended periods of time breathing in harmful fumes and/or particles. You might finish your project and go inside for the night thinking you made it through another session without a respirator, but as you're trying to fall asleep you start to get a headache and a cough. At this point in time, you are probably wishing you had worn that respirator you have just laying on the shelf collecting dust because you are now experiencing the first symptoms of inhalation fever.
Inhalation fever is an acute flu-like illness that begins four to eight hours after heavy exposure to the causative dust or mist. Some symptoms include but are not limited to chest tightness, cough, fever, headache, leukocytosis, myalgia, and rhinitis. These symptoms generally resolve between 24 and 48 hours later. There are many hazardous agents that cause this disease: copper, cotton dust, diethyl zinc, endotoxins, grain dust, magnesium, magnesium oxide, polytetrafluoroethylene, and zinc oxide.
The next time you ask yourself if you need to wear some form of respiratory protection, please remember the potential consequences.