OCT 19, 2022 3:18 PM PDT

Study Reveals Retained Dust in Lungs of Military Personnel

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Jewish Health teamed up to investigate lung disease seen in previously deployed military personnel. Military personnel who were deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq may have been exposed to significant amounts of dust and other respiratory hazards. Retained dust in the lungs can cause persistent respiratory symptoms and diseases like asthma and bronchiolitis. The findings were presented at the Geological Society of America Connects 2022 meeting in Denver.

The study included 250 participants who came to the National Jewish Health clinic. 24 participants who had a surgical lung biopsy as part of their clinical care gave permission for their lung biopsy to be included in the study. These 24 lung biopsies were compared to 11 civilian control samples. These donated lung specimens match the age and smoking history of the participants. 

The researchers used techniques to produce high-resolution images of microscopic particles and characterize their elemental composition, and geologist Dr. Heather Lowers extracted particulate matter found in the lungs and evaluated their composition and size. According to Lowers, “We found that generally speaking, the military deployers did have more retained dust in their lungs per cubic centimeter of tissue that we looked at compared to the controls. And the particles generally seemed to be a smaller size as well, compared to the dust that was retained in the control group.” They also found that both deployers who reported low/no sandstorm exposure or medium-high sandstorm exposure had higher amounts of dust in their lungs than the control samples.

Dust is considered a carcinogen, so it is important for all individuals to avoid breathing in dust that can irritate and damage the airways and lungs. Dust can carry mold, bacteria, and fungi and chemicals and negatively impact respiratory health. The study highlights the need for further studies of retained dust in the lungs and mitigation strategies to reduce soldiers’ exposure to dust. 


Sources: Eureka News AlertGeological Society of America

 

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
JAN 18, 2023
Technology
Artificial pancreas for type 2 diabetes management
Artificial pancreas for type 2 diabetes management
Type 2 diabetes is an increasingly common condition around the globe, affecting over 400 million people. In type 2 diabe ...
JAN 16, 2023
Immunology
How the Immune System Tolerates Gut Bacteria
How the Immune System Tolerates Gut Bacteria
Our immune system is built to detect foreign invaders, pathogens, and debris, and eliminate them. So how dies it deal wi ...
JAN 19, 2023
Immunology
Surprising Finding Opens Up Novel Treatment Avenues for Lupus
Surprising Finding Opens Up Novel Treatment Avenues for Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, inflammation and tissue damage. It can affect the brain, skin, joints, ...
JAN 23, 2023
Neuroscience
Tau tangles unravel when these three genes are silenced
Tau tangles unravel when these three genes are silenced
By controling the activity of an enzyme called CHIP, three proteins regulate tau. Now the genes for these three trouble ...
JAN 24, 2023
Cardiology
5-Minute Walking Breaks Counter Negative Effects of Sitting
5-Minute Walking Breaks Counter Negative Effects of Sitting
Quick walking breaks during work could improve your cardiovascular health.
JAN 28, 2023
Neuroscience
The Physical Activities of the Cognitively Gifted
The Physical Activities of the Cognitively Gifted
People in the higher two quartiles in cognition practiced more moderate, vigorous physical activity and sitting
Loading Comments...