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Andy PhD DABT
Andy PhD DABT, Toxicologist
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 98
Experience:  Board certified with 17 years in research or consulting
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My 3-year-old got in a big jar of cinnamon and was banging

Customer Question

My 3-year-old got in a big jar of cinnamon and was banging it around creating a cloud of cinnamon that I he (and then me when I ran over and grabbed him) inhaled. He's not coughing or having any breathing difficulty; I have a mild cough. Neither of us has asthma. Do I need to be worried about the fine powder in our lungs, like with talcum?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  RK replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
There is no need to worry.

1. Cinnamon is not an allergen. So it does not cause any allergy.
2. single exposure does not result in allergy , asthma or does affect the lungs.
3. There are many protective mechanisms in the respiratory tract which protects against the inhalation like this.
So you need not worry.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
The responder's answer started by claiming that cinnamon wasn't an allergen, which is ridiculous. Many people are allergic to cinnamon. This makes me doubt everything they say.
Expert:  RK replied 2 years ago.
Cinnamon only causes contact allergy and not inhalation allergy.
My answer was in context with inhalation only and not in context with contact allergy and so there is nothing ridiculous about it. Kindly read my previous post carefully.
the points were only for inhalation.
If you want I can post some studies for your reference.
Expert:  RK replied 2 years ago.
I will opt out so that other experts can help you.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi--when did this happen and how are you now?
Expert:  replied 2 years ago.
The dust itself most likely did not do any damage to the lungs. It could be mildly irritating, but particles must be so small you can't really see them in order to reach the lungs. Most of what was breathed in got trapped in the nose and since your child is not coughing or having breathing problems it is probably not an issue.

It is possible that an allergy could develop later on, but it is a rare allergy. Breathing in cinnamon is not a common route of exposure, except in workers in the cinnamon industry. Some studies did find allergies to cinnamon in workers exposed to cinnamon dust (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1009288/pdf/brjindmed00050-0076.pdf and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0536.2008.01486.x/abstract). Cinnamon workers are exposed to more dust and over a much longer period of time then you and your child were so your risk would be much lower then the worker's risk for allergies/asthma. Yours was a one time exposure which may carry a small amount of risk, while repeated exposures would increase the risk.

Genetics plays a role in allergies. Some people are more susceptible to developing allergies than others (HLA/MHC genes play a big role in this). Since you state that you don't have asthma and have not seen it in your child then you might not have to worry so much about developing an allergy,i.e., your genetics may make you less susceptible to develop allergies - though this is not for certain. If you or your husband don't have allergies and your husband doesn't have asthma then you probably don't have to worry?
Andy PhD DABT, Toxicologist
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 98
Experience: Board certified with 17 years in research or consulting
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