Can airbrush makeup cause asthma?
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An_241685 posted:
I am a licensed cosmetologist and within the past year or so I have been doing airbrush makeup every weekend on clients. Over the last six months my breathing has become very heavy and I never feel like I can take a deep enough breath. It feels like I always have to gasp for air! I have not been wearing a mask because the product I use is silicone free and FDA approved. I did have bronchitis in May and every since then I have not been able to breath normal. Could it be from the airbrush or the bronchitis? Also I use rubbing alcohol to clean out the airbrush gun. Could I be inhaling that? Should I wear a mask? And what would happen if I breathed to much in? Will I have permanent damage? Also is this safe to use on pregnant women? I have never done it on pregnant women and I can't seem to find enough information about it. I know that the only reason I'm having problems is because I'm exposed to it all the time. It has been a great source of income and i would like to continue to do it but i don't want it to be harmful to me or to anyone else. I would never jeopardize someone's health just for my income. I know I should see a doctor but I feel like my doctor doesn't take me serious. I was also thinking maybe I'm breathing in to much aerosol hairspray... I don't know let me know your thoughts! Thanks!
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Mathchickie responded:
There are chemicals out there which are really dangerous to breathe even at low levels, such as asbestos. The chemicals you work with probably do NOT fall into that category.

One hallmark of asthma, however, is that things which do NOT affect the breathing of normal people can affect us, and these chemicals you mention can affect breathing in people who are sensitive to them. Do you find that you feel better on days off from work? Or does it not make a difference?

It probably will not cause permanent damage, but in the long run, having compromised breathing on a regular basis is bad.

Are you on any lung medications?
 
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An_241685 replied to Mathchickie's response:
Thank you for your reply! No I am not on any lung medication or anything like that. And my breathing is bad even on my days off. It's really frustrating. I never had any breathing problems til May. I don't understand how it can appear out of no where. I'm tired all the time now and I just want to feel normal again.
 
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An_241685 replied to An_241685's response:
I emailed the company that I get my airbrush makeup product from and they said it was 100% safe to breathe in and wasn't necessary to wear a mask. But I was reading the ingredients and it said there was talc in it. It was toward the bottom of the ingredient list so I'm assuming that it is a low amount but should I be concerned about that?
 
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Mathchickie replied to An_241685's response:
The thing is, it might be 100% nontoxic but you personally might be allergic to it.

For now, i would get on some lung medicines. They can make an enourmous difference.
 
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mystic001 replied to An_241685's response:
Well, I use airbrush but in cakes. I'ts a vegetable color liquid safe and FDA approved. Not all the "things" that the FDA approved are good for us but maybe good for their Pockets. Never mind, well I'm been using this this for a year. I never had asthma but it started with fatigue, then asthma, know chronic bronchial asthma!!! And every time I use it for a long period, I get sick ASAP, I mean sick, hospital sick. Ohh, masks don't work, even if I put a napkin inside I still have at the end of the work, color inside my nose.
 
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amcate responded:
I'm no expert, but here's the best I know. In terms of hairsprays, it would depend on the propellent. "A study by Du Pont Labs revealed the freon content of propellents for hair sprays and spray deodorants to be dangerously high, and the particles in these sprays are often so small that they can penetrate the lung tissue and be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. In studies done by heavy spray users, all those tested had precancerous lung cell changes" (Fit for Life II: Living Health, Harvey and Marilyn Diamond). The problem is the author does not give a number next to what they write so I can't go back to the reference pages and easily find the actual studies they say they are paraphrasing. The authors do recommend using nonaerosal hair spray or mousse. Also, keep in mind the book I quoted is out of date, written in the mid 1980s, so the propellents in hair sprays may have changed since then.

Talc is a carcinogen. I've had airbrush makeup done once to myself for my sister's wedding, and even though they did the best they could to not spray it directly in my airway I still had some temporary issues with the breathing, but then used the rescue medicines and I was fine.

Doctors in general are not trained to answer the types of questions you are asking, in my experience. They are best at doing pulmonary function tests and giving medicine, but not necessarily at determining what is causing or triggering the problem. I tried once to talk to a PCP about which filters to use in my home, and could tell he was not interested. In addition, a respiratory therapist I know had a patient leave the hospital, then come back not being able to breathe, then they stabilized the patient. The patient went home and got out of control again and back to the hospital. The doctor assumed it was the respiratory therapist's fault or a lack of medicines. The reality was the person was having their home redone, and it didn't even occur to the patient that could cause problems....most of the time, doctors just don't think in those terms. Your questions are very good ones, though.

In terms of rubbing alcohol, I react to that with breathing problems. In terms of if something is safe, a lot depends on how much is inhaled. Technically speaking, just using a car makes the air less safe. There is not a strict line between "safe" and "unsafe" levels.
 
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amcate responded:
I'm sorry, I forgot-if you decide to wear a mask, be sure it blocks what you want it to. I've not seen a mask that blocks all respiratory irritants. If the irritant is a particle and not a volatile organic compound, then an N95 mask should be good. If it's a volatile organic compound, then the type of mask has cartridges in it that absorb the compound. Paint fumes are an example of a volatile organic compound. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health may have additional information regarding your questions if you google them.