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Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome

Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome

Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome is a health problem that crops up due to high levels of toxic chemical exposure that affects one's airways. Learn about what RADS is and what happens when under its influence...
Naomi Sarah
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
There are a lot of people who work in chemical industries and in an environment that put them in a situation where harmful fumes and gases are bound to be inhaled. We're so unmindful about what our surroundings are doing to our health, with many people taking in toxic chemicals while sitting in traffic, playing the part of second-hand smoker and inhaling products with strong chemicals in them present at home.
There's also been a recorded incident where a woman at home combined together liquids, the cleaning kind, resulting in a deadly mix that when inhaled gave her a bad case of RADS with just a single whiff. It's quite a scary thought to conjure, that things made for our use at home, could also be deadly for not just us, but for kids as well who could come across these not so innocuous liquids.
Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome or RADS in short, is the development of respiratory problems that arise either minutes or hours after one inhales a substance or fume that has a high concentrate of toxic chemicals. The immediate response to this in some people are very asthma like in nature, where the insides of the airways inflame due to the accidental inhalation. There is a similar case called Irritant Induced Asthma (IIA) which some say can be interchanged term wise for RADS, where multiple episodes of being subjected to chemicals over a long period of time leading up to RADS can be termed as irritant induced asthma as well.
Being progressive in nature, the latter term IIA, can be used for instances where people working in factories and other industries are exposed to everyday agents that can subsequently lead to RADS over a period of time. It can lead up to severe problems, one being a major case of bronchial mucosal injury.
Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome Causes
There are certain chemicals that top off the list as the most dangerous and commonly involved elements that lead up to RADS. This is what you need to be careful about and stay away from, since a single high exposure incident, is enough to cause damage.
  • Diesel fumes (from vehicle exhausts)
  • Chlorine gas
  • Welding fumes
  • Floor sealant
  • Acetic acid
  • Phosgene
  • Trichlorosilane
  • Bleach chemicals
  • Free based cocaine
  • Zinc chloride
  • Tear gas
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Paint fumes (burning)
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Silicon
  • Smoke fumes (smoke releasing machines / mixtures)
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Toluene diisocyanate
  • Hydrogen sulfide
Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome Symptoms
It is important to note these signs which occur as a reaction to the exposure. Be sure to have these checked out and treated in time. The symptoms of this condition result in.
  • Wheezing
  • Congestion in the chest that often leads to tightness
  • Not able to breathe properly
  • A constriction sensation in the chest
Reactive Airway Dysfunction Treatment
Since RADS is a medical condition that leads to an impaction on the cells that line one's airway, it causes inflammation which is an allergic reaction upon repeated or high exposure. Patients are given steroids for prolonged, repetitive symptoms after the incident to help reduce inflammation in the airways. Inhaled steroids too are given for those who complain of ongoing symptoms. Asthma medicines can be given to patients, like albuterol and bronchodilators to help those suffering from RADS.
RADS is a problem that usually leads up to one suffering from asthma, where most asthmatics suffer from problems that take root from inhaling harmful chemicals, smoke, fumes or gases. Be sure to have yourself checked out and make it a habit to wear a mask at all times that filter our chemicals and only draw in oxygen. Those working in such harsh conditions should be able to use these to protect themselves.
Even when at home, don't mix any liquids that you aren't familiar with and ask store owners about what is safe to have around the house that isn't as toxic and dangerous as what has already been mentioned in the list of harmful chemicals.