Recently I began work at the cafe inside my local fitness center. They serve a lot of shakes, with various powders. The first day I worked there, I noticed that the "Mocha" is an extremely fine powder and when used, becomes airborne. It stays in the air for a few seconds until it settles, but you taste it in your mouth. There's caffeine in it, and I'm pretty sure I even feel a bit more awake after my shift because of inhaling it.
The night after my first shift, I woke up in the middle of the night coughing, as if it was clearing out of my lungs from inhaling it. I absolutely tasted the mocha flavor when coughing. I stand over the container and use the powder for the majority of my 7-8 hour shift, as it's a popular ingredient, and I'm concerned that this could be causing me problems. I woke up in the middle of the night with the same issue after my second shift, but after that shift it stopped (the shifts were one week apart; I've only been working once a week) and I haven't had any problems sleeping through the night since.
In addition, when working out I usually have a good lung capacity. Lately, I've noticed a shortness of breath when doing heavy weight training. I almost have to take a big breath before I lift and hold it in, because if I start trying to breath during the exercise I begin to fatigue and have to stop. This has never happened before, and I'm certain it began happening (at the very least) after I started my job there.
Also, I've noticed a bit of a pressure in my chest, on the left side, that comes about once or twice a week. It's not too painful, but it's noticeable and I never had any problems like this before.
What concerns me is, I've only been working there once a week, but now I picked up two more shifts a week (now it's three times a week) and I don't want to cause my lungs any damage. I'm afraid that the particles are too small to be filtered by my respiratory system's natural defenses, and I don't want to cause any lasting issues. I'm going to schedule a doctor's appointment to get checked out, but does anyone want to shed some light on this? I'm pretty nervous, since I'm an avid viewer of Breaking Bad and Walt developed cancer from inhalation of small particles that he didn't know were affecting him. I know it's a bit ridiculous to compare real life to a television series, but still :P
EDIT - I'd also like to add, I'm not a cigarette smoker but I do smoke marijuana regularly. It has never seemed to give me any problems, and I've never had any issues exercising or sleeping (as mentioned). The problem seems to be caused by the powder, is this possible?
Edited by Mindweaver, 03 July 2012 - 12:35 AM.