Health Dangers Associated With Turpentine

Turpentine is a toxic substance that can cause great harm to an individual’s health, particularly when it comes to their lungs. This is because breathing in the fumes from turpentine or products containing the substance, can cause direct damage, both short-term and lasting, to the lungs. Turpentine, unfortunately, is a common additive in different resins, ink, paints, and similar products. It is also commonly used as a paint thinner and to remove paint. Thus, it is vital to read ingredient lists carefully to avoid products containing turpentine as much as possible. Turpentine exposure, particularly of the prolonged variety, poses a significant danger to health. Learn about the major health dangers of turpentine now.

Pulmonary Edema


Turpentine can cause pulmonary edema, a dangerous health condition that will cause individuals to suffer from excessive fluid in the lungs. Heart problems often cause this fluid, but it’s also been associated with exposure to toxins such as turpentine. It can occur over some time, or it can come on suddenly. This is the most dangerous type of edema, as it can be fatal. If it comes on suddenly and without warning, it’s imperative for patients to seek medical attention right away. It’s best to stay away from anything containing turpentine or its oil to best prevent this health issue. If it does occur, individuals will notice they suddenly have difficulty breathing. Their breath will be short and fast, and get worse when they’re lying down or being active. Patients will begin wheezing and coughing, skin becomes cold, and lips might become blue.

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Throbbing Headaches


The body reacts quickly when exposed to turpentine. If individuals use too much on a small area of their skin or inhale it, they might experience throbbing headaches. These headaches have the potential to turn from serious headaches to debilitating migraines. There is no set timeframe for how long the headaches will last, either. Patients might experience the pain for hours, days, or even off and on for weeks at a time depending on their exposure level. Individuals who use turpentine and develop a headache should call a doctor right away. There’s no harm in taking an over-the-counter medication to try and make the throbbing pain subside for some relief, but patients must still speak to a doctor. In addition to a throbbing headache, patients may also feel dizzy, confused, and have a quickened pulse. They may also feel nauseous. These are all dangerous symptoms of exposure individuals must have checked out right away.

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Coughing And Wheezing


One of the worst feelings associated with turpentine exposure is the coughing and wheezing that go along with it. If individuals notice they cannot stop either coughing or wheezing when they try to breathe, they should call a doctor immediately. Symptoms often get worse when patients lie down or become active. If patients cannot get their breathing under control, it can become even worse. The inability to breathe properly can cause health problems most individuals don’t want to consider. Coughing and wheezing are often one of the first warning signs an individual has inhaled too much turpentine and fluid has begun to accumulate in their lungs. Thus, immediate medical attention is crucial.

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Chronic Bronchitis


Chronic bronchitis, one type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is not a health problem anyone wants to deal with. This is a problem individuals might face if they are exposed to turpentine, particularly over time. In this condition, the bronchial tubes become inflamed, and they then produce too much mucus. The side effects of chronic bronchitis include shortness of breath, coughing, breathing problems, and wheezing. This is not a health condition patients can cure, though there are treatment options available to help manage it. Individuals are unless to develop chronic bronchitis if they only use turpentine on occasion, but inhaling it regularly is going to cause much more serious health problems.

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Increased Risk Of Lung Cancer


One of the most common causes of lung cancer is smoking, which damages the lungs as individuals inhale the toxins in nicotine. However, inhaling turpentine is not much different than smoking. Individuals are still inhaling toxic fumes that now have direct access to their lungs. Each time an individual inhales turpentine, they damage your lungs a little bit more, thus increasing their risk of developing lung cancer. Unfortunately, it is not possible for individuals to undo the damage caused by inhaling turpentine, particularly when it is done over time. Thus, it is crucial to practice preventative measures such as wearing a mask when exposure cannot be avoided entirely.