According to a new study presented by researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the high levels of particulates inhaled by first responders at Ground Zero led to an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

Heroic Effort and Sacrifice

During the events of 9/11, the air became filled with a high level of dust, including cement dust, smoke, glass fibers, and heavy metals. Researchers at Mount Sinai who have been working with the WTC-CHEST program have found that this exposure has led to increased risk of numerous health conditions, including: lung problems, heart problems, and kidney disease.

The WTC-CHEST evidence includes a detailed analysis of more than 800 first responders, and is broken down by levels of exposure, which are determined by each responder’s arrival at the scene, their location, and their time spent at the site. based on this, each responder was rated as having received very high, high, intermediate, or low particulate exposure.

They showed that exposure to particulate matter led to upper airway inflammation, leading to an increased risk of sleep apnea.

Protect Yourself

Although this study covers the risk profile of a relatively small number of individuals, it does provide important insight for the rest of us. It reminds us that exposure to fine particulates can lead to sleep apnea. If you are in a workplace or have hobbies that expose you to fine dust, it’s important to use proper protection, such as dust masks, and make sure that you’re working in a properly ventilated area that can reduce the overall dust levels.

And if you do experience throat irritation accompanied by common symptoms of sleep apnea, such as daytime sleepiness, mood problems, or diagnosis with related conditions like heart disease or elevated blood pressure, you should be evaluated for sleep apnea by a sleep physician.

For help reducing the symptoms of your sleep apnea, please call 402-493-4175 for an appointment at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha, Nebraska today.