Inhalation Of Hazardous Gas

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Last Medical Review: March 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Costa Navarro
Acute Inhalation Injury (March 28, 2020)

There are several types of gases in our environment that can cause serious damage if you inhale them. For example, it can be chlorine gas contained in cooling pipes in ice shelves or smoke from plastic materials. Fire smoke contains several different gases depending on what is burning.

The severity of the damage depends on the type of gas you have inhaled and how much gas you have been exposed to.


It will take a few hours before the symptoms arrive if you have been breathing gas.

These are common symptoms:

  • You get a headache.
  • You feel sick and vomit.
  • You get irritated in the nose, mouth, throat and trachea and it starts to burn.
  • You feel it tight in your chest.
  • You get shortness of breath.
  • You cough.
  • You’re getting hoarse.
  • You get dumbfounded.

When and where should I seek care?

Call 911 immediately if you have difficulty breathing or if someone is unconscious.

If you have inhaled gas you think is dangerous and have any of the inconveniences listed in the list above, contact a healthcare center or emergency room immediately.

Call telephone number 911 for medical advice. Then you can get help to assess symptoms or help with where you can seek care.

You can also, in less urgent cases, call the Poison Information Center.

The Poison Information Center also answers general and preventive questions about poisoning on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm.


The most important thing is to get out into the fresh air and to take it easy. Mild symptoms often go away by themselves.

Sometimes you may need treatment for the symptoms you have, such as oxygen or bronchodilator medication. You may also need to remain at the health center or hospital for any problems not exacerbated.

It is important that you contact your health care provider again if you become worse, especially if you have difficulty breathing again.

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