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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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Laser printers and photocopiers emit ultrafine particles that can exacerbate respiratory conditions. A 44-year-old secretary featured in the journal Allergy, for instance, experienced asthma and allergy symptoms for about 15 to 20 minutes each time she started to make photocopies.

Other types of printers have been known to cause respiratory symptoms as well.

In 2009, the New England Journal of Medicine published an account of a 62-year-old woman who began to cough and wheeze at work, where she sold lottery tickets in a small kiosk. Her doctors concluded that the ink used in the ticket printer was making her sick. When she stopped working in the kiosk, her symptoms disappeared.

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