Inhaled Powder Sugar Bad For You???

Decorating By forthwife Updated 16 Nov 2014 , 11:36pm by SOrigi

forthwife Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:09pm
post #1 of 30

Hey all, I know this is off topic but wanted it visible so I could get the widest audience. I've often wondered when mixing icing and seeing clouds of PS waft into the air if it's bad for my lungs. Any answers? Thanks!!

Arainna Forth

29 replies
tonedna Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:16pm
post #2 of 30

I am not sure of the answer, but I wouldnt see why it would be. If we eat it why would it affect our lungs?..But would be interesting to see if someone knows the answer.
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

cjshoemake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:16pm
post #3 of 30

I am curious about that also. I too see the CLOUDS!! icon_biggrin.gif I dont think it could be good after a while. Would probably create a buildup in lungs.

mjballinger Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:16pm
post #4 of 30

I don't know about powdered sugar, but a friend of mine who used to work in a pizza shop as a teenager, and then bought it as an adult developed serious lung problems and his respiratory dr. blamed all the inhaled flour. He never smoked, had no other factors that could have contributed.

bakers2 Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:21pm
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don't know about your lungs - but HORRIBLE for your teeth - flour dust too... brush your teeth often....

pastryjen Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:24pm
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There is an owner of a bulk cake supplies store...he inhaled too much flour dust and is now allergic to wheat.

diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:53pm
post #7 of 30

This is an interesting question. I've often wondered about this. It would make sense that our bodies would adsorb it. I suppose in large quantities it could be dangerous. If for example you were in a closet and a bag or two exploded.

ETA: MSDS Sheet:
http://www.conncoll.edu/offices/envhealth/MSDS/chemistry/S/Sucrose.html

grammynan Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 10:03pm
post #8 of 30

One way to cut down on powdered sugar dust is to lay a damp towel over your mixer when you turn it on. The towel catches most of the dust and it help keep the mess down too!

AbouttheCake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 10:05pm
post #9 of 30

Yes, actually it is. I developed what's known as "Baker's Asthma" from all the flour, sugar and dusts I've inhaled". Just as you can get 'drunk' from airbrushing alcohol, you can have lung problems from inhaling these fine powders. I can always tell when I've had a heavy week of mixing because my chest feels tighter and heavier.

Airbrushing dusts is actually worse because the inhaled particles are smaller.

It's best to wear a mask.

tonedna Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 11:05pm
post #10 of 30

The question is how much you have to inhale to be bad for the lungs?
Edna icon_smile.gif

tarheelgirl Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 11:08pm
post #11 of 30

I always say it makes me sweeter! My hubby doesn't buy it though! LOL

PinkZiab Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 11:21pm
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

The question is how much you have to inhale to be bad for the lungs?
Edna icon_smile.gif




Well I'm sure there's no set amount, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a large quantity in a single instance... even small amounts over time can cause damage. So if you bake every (or nearly every day) and inhale a little hear and there it can eventually cause damage. Just like smoking.... you don't have to have a 2 pack a day habit to wind up with respiratory problems... even a cigarette "now and then" can lead to emphysema or cancer... same idea.

Bottom line: breathing ANYTHING other than oxygen (or a prescribed medication/inhalant) into your lungs is potentially hazardous, so take precautions. Of course I should practice what I preach... I joke all the time I'm going to wind up with "Baker's lung."

sillychick Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 11:26pm
post #14 of 30

Here is a MSDS sheet for powdered sugar from Australia. It makes it sound pretty benign. Although my Dr. has warned me about chronic exposure. He had a patient who was a decorator who had something like white lung, which occurs from repeat exposure to chemicals or fumes. I try to remember to wear a mask because it tends to make me wheeze and feel stuffy.

sweetkake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 11:27pm
post #15 of 30

[quote="diamondsonblackvelvet13"]This is an interesting question. I've often wondered about this. It would make sense that our bodies would adsorb it. I suppose in large quantities it could be dangerous. If for example you were in a closet and a bag or two exploded.

Let me take this opportunity to chime in. I've been thinking about this for some time. In addition to lungs I wonder what affect it has on diabetics? I mean do we absorb the sugar in the icing through our skin as well as our lungs? It sure would explain elevations in blood sugars that are not otherwise explained. Has anyone thought about blood sugar absorption?

JenniferMI Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 1:30am
post #16 of 30

We joke about this in my classes, that we all will die from PSI (powdered sugar inhalation icon_smile.gif But, I think to much of anything is not a good thing. Wearing a mask is a good idea if you are inhaling it a bunch. I try to hold my breath a bit.... really not sure how much that works icon_smile.gif

Jen icon_smile.gif

Justbeck101 Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 2:52am
post #17 of 30

I also learned that anything that recirculates air sucks in the powdered sugar. So, when you fridge is blowing cold air in to the freezer, it is sucking in the air from your kitchen. My son got some ice once and said it tasted sweet. I checked and sure enough it was sweet. I threw it all out and got a filter.

Edited to say:

And I do cover my mixer when making icing. We can't see all of
what gets through the fabric.

ninatat Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 4:33am
post #18 of 30

this is weird but today they had on the Dr.s that kids are taking those smartee candies, crushing them up and inhailing them so smoke comes out of their mouth, one kid said just something dumb to do. they said that it can cause lung problems, sinus, what will the kids think of next. better than drugs. stupid but better

amy81 Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 4:47am
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninatat

this is weird but today they had on the Dr.s that kids are taking those smartee candies, crushing them up and inhailing them so smoke comes out of their mouth, one kid said just something dumb to do. they said that it can cause lung problems, sinus, what will the kids think of next. better than drugs. stupid but better





They were talking about this on one of our local news channels yesterday. They had a doctor on there that said that when they inhale the candy dust that some of it can get stuck in their airways (and the lungs) and can cause bacteria to build because of the sugar and the moisture and cause infection.

MrsMabe Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 8:51am
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninatat

this is weird but today they had on the Dr.s that kids are taking those smartee candies, crushing them up and inhailing them so smoke comes out of their mouth, one kid said just something dumb to do. they said that it can cause lung problems, sinus, what will the kids think of next. better than drugs. stupid but better




icon_surprised.gif That's crazy. My brothers and I used to joke about snorting smarties as kids, but I didn't think anybody actually did that.

jennicita Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 9:41am
post #21 of 30

I don't know about the rest of you, but sometimes when powdered sugar gets in the air I really get the feeling that my heart is racing and I'm on a sugar high. Of course it could just be the excitement of decorating icon_smile.gif but I've been assuming that once it gets to your lungs, the sugar can more easily enter your bloodstream.

Any medical professionals out there? Could this really be what's happening or am I just imagining it?

jennicita

tarheelgirl Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 2:59pm
post #22 of 30

I always turn on the fan under the stove when I am using PS. That way it gets sucked outside. I do cover the bowl with a towel.

TRUE STORY: I run a licensed bakery out of my home. We had a tv that was one of the newer ones that has a fan running it. When business picked up and I started to bake every single day.. we noticed our tv was cutting off by itself. Just random times of the day not even when I was doing anything with the mixer. The tv repair guy opened it up and guess what.... white dust was covering the inside of the tv.

Our AC filters have to be replaced quite often also. You can see the dust of PS on it. And this is still with running the fan above the stove and covering the bowl!!!

SO, could you imagine what we are inhaling..

Rylan Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 3:08pm
post #23 of 30

I'm not sure but as far as I recall, there was a show of which it showed people how they died. There were two people who was in an enclosed room. They were playing with bags of cocoa powder just like a pillow fight and they unknowingly inhaled it...eventually they died.

Not sure if it applies to powdered sugar.

playingwithsugar Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 3:14pm
post #24 of 30

The disease is called white lung, and it comes from chronic inhalation of powder dusts that can be suspended in the air during use, i.e. flour, powdered sugar, chalk, baby powder, etc.

And yes, you can die from it.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

RobzC8kz Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 5:02pm
post #25 of 30

Only if your PS is from Columbia!! hehehe! J/K! I just had to say it!! I'm gonna start wearing a mask from now on!

forthwife Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 8:50pm
post #26 of 30

Thanks for all the great comments. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has thought about this. I think the damp towel over the mixer is a great idea. If I start baking super frequently, I'll wear a mask.

diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 1 May 2009 , 2:06pm
post #27 of 30

I have been thinking about this alot lately. I had been noticing symptoms like I had when I smoked a pack a day. (I quit over a year ago) I just attributed it to being fat.

I know that Earlene Moore has designed a booth for airbrushing. It has a ventilation system complete with filter. Do y'all think that this might work for mixing BC as well?

Here is what I mean:
http://www.earlenescakes.com/AirbrushCabInst.html

bakingatthebeach Posted 1 May 2009 , 8:27pm
post #28 of 30

Being a nurse, I know your respiratory system has alot of "built in" safety factors to help protect your lungs, we inhale alot of dust and polutents everyday. I would probably not stick my face near the bowl during the sugar puff that comes out. I work in ICU and have had people who have aspirated stuff like peanut butter and your sucking that stuff out for a week. So personally, no, I dont think you will be affected by the powdered sugar, just be careful while you are putting it in the bowl (turn your head) so you dont inhale too much of it.

ski Posted 2 May 2009 , 12:33am
post #29 of 30

When I had my last dental exam I mentioned ow I seem to be getting more cavitie than usual, he told me it was the powder sugar, said many bakers have increased dental issues. He suggestd a mask.

SOrigi Posted 16 Nov 2014 , 11:36pm
post #30 of 30

I recently have been experiencing elevated blood sugar that seem to be uncontrollable, more so  during the work week when I am sifting and mixing a LOT of powdered sugar many times a day. My sugar is more manageable on my days off so I have wondered if it has to do with the PS I inhale all day long at the shop. I started using a bandana tied around my neck and put it over my nose and mouth when I'm using the PS and also when using the cocoa powder, which is finer than the sugar. I only just started doing that so I guess I will see if that helps with managing my high blood sugar level.

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