I was trying to bang out dents in a fender panel from the backside. Whilst banging I smelt and inhaled a lot of metalic smelling particles go into the air and I inhaled through mouth and nose.

I did this for quite a while without concern for what it was.

Any idea what the particles may have been? Are they hazardous to health?

  • The likelihood of pneumoconiosis is small... unless you spend the next 30 years breathing that dust... – Solar Mike Oct 29 '18 at 11:39

What you were breathing in was a mixture of rust and dust that had accumulated on your panels. These particles can cause irritation in your nasal passages short term, longer term buildup can cause lung problems. They can also cause eye irritation.

A one-off isn't likely to hurt you, the cilia in your lungs will remove the dust, but a particle mask and eye protection is recommended for the future.

  • 2
    Seconded. Not to add anything to this answer, just to reinforce; dust masks cost pennies. I always have a ready supply of them knocking around in the workshop. – Steve Matthews Oct 29 '18 at 11:16
  • 3
    Disposables are a minimal investment for sure @SteveMatthews. Some respirators make you sound like Darth Vader, though, so maybe worth the extra spend ;) – GdD Oct 29 '18 at 11:22

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