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Occupational hazard? Breathing in smoker fumes

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone!

 

I began a new job about a month ago working in meat production. I'm around a large smoker on an almost daily basis. We smoke all types of meat and cheeses. Before I started I didn't have any sinus trouble at all...no stuffy nose, no mucous, nothing.  Now I have a stuffy nose most of the time and my nose runs often...even on my days off. The smoker fumes burn my eyes. The fumes only last several minutes...when they bring meats in and out.  I've noticed the people that have been there for years all have sinus issues.

 

This is a temporary job...only until Christmas...then I'm done.

 

Should I be concerned that this exposure will cause damage long term or will I be OK after 3 months of exposure? 

 

Thanks,

Dawn

post #2 of 3

Hello Dawn and welcome to the forums. Sorry you are having problems with your new job, especially one where you get/have to smoke meats all day long.

 

Unfortunately, smoke is smoke is smoke. Whether it is cigarettes, a house fire, a camp fire or a meat smoker. Smokes contains many harmful chemicals, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and others. When inhaled it does cause breathing problems. 

 

Since this is an occupational situation, there should be some OSHA rules that come into effect. You may need to wear some sort of mask, whether a bandana over your mouth, a paper mask or a filtered mask. Goggles or safety glasses should also probably be worn as well and will help to alleviate the effects to your eyes. 

 

Also, proper ventilation of the smoking area is critical to get rid of the build of of noxious gases that may linger even after the smoker doors are closed. 

 

I wouldn't bee too concerned with longer term effects of the smoke if you are only working for a couple of months, but the short term effects of smoke inhalation definitely need to be dealt with. 

post #3 of 3
X2 for everything JC said except his last statement. Any respiratory damage can have long lasting effects. The initial problem may get better, but who knows what the residual damages may be. It's not worth the chance. From an occupational standpoint, your employer MUST provide a safe work environment and the proper safety equipment. It's just the law.

Good luck, Joe
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