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7 Surprising Triggers of Lung Trouble

Common pollutants, such as traffic exhaust and secondhand smoke, are well-known causes of lung problems, including asthma. But there are a number of other irritants—some of them found in your own home or car—that can also trigger asthma symptoms.

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Asthmatics who stay in their car after a crash have been known to experience asthma attacks. One might chalk this up to stress, but something else is to blame: the aerosol compounds that are released into the cabin when an airbag inflates.

A group of researchers at General Motors confirmed this effect in the mid-1990s. Two dozen asthmatics each sat for 20 minutes in the backseat of an airtight car after an airbag was deployed, and 10 of them had significant reactions in their lung passages.

When the latter group underwent the same test wearing an air-filter mask, however, they did not.

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