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Chemical Pneumonia (cont.)

Chemical Pneumonia Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of chemical pneumonia vary greatly, and many factors can determine its seriousness. For instance, someone exposed to chlorine in a large outdoor pool may have only a cough and burning eyes. Someone else exposed to high levels of chlorine in a small room may die of respiratory failure.

Factors that determine the severity of signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Type and strength of chemical
  • Exposure environment: indoor, outdoor, heat, cold
  • Length of exposure: seconds, minutes, hours
  • Form of chemical: gas, vapor, particulate, liquid
  • Protective measures used to avoid exposure to chemicals
  • Prior medical condition
  • Age of the person

Chemical pneumonia may have the following signs and symptoms:

Chemical Pneumonia Symptoms

  • Burning of the nose, eyes, lips, mouth, and throat
  • Dry cough
  • Wet cough producing clear, yellow, or green mucus
  • Cough producing blood or frothy pink matter in saliva
  • Nausea or abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful breathing or pleuritis (an inflammation of the outside covering of the lungs)
  • Headache
  • Flu symptoms
  • Weakness or a general ill feeling
  • Delirium or disorientation

Chemical Pneumonia Signs a Doctor Might Observe

  • Rapid or shallow breaths
  • Rapid pulse
  • Oral, nasal, or skin burns
  • Pale or cyanotic skin and lips
  • Heavy sweating
  • Altered thinking and reasoning skills
  • Unconsciousness
  • Swelling of eyes or tongue
  • Hoarse or muffled voice
  • Chemical odors on other areas of the body
  • Frothy spit from a cough
  • Fever
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2014
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