Health Effects of Inhalation of Pet Urine Odor
Your dog or cat urine smells sharply of ammonia, which is an irritant to the lungs. In the case of large amounts of urine, your lungs could feel like they are burning. Inhalation of large quantities of ammonia causes immediate burning of the throat, respiratory tract and nose. As a person is exposed to larger quantities of ammonia, he or she may start to feel lightheaded and faint. Excessive exposure to ammonia causes eye and skin irritation. Pet urine becomes embedded in furniture, baseboards, carpeting and other areas, and causes health hazards. Individuals with weak immune systems, allergies, asthma and other health conditions–such as migraines–are especially susceptible to the risks associated with ammonia inhalation. Low concentrations of ammonia (50ppm) also cause rapid eye and skin irritation. Prolonged exposure to a higher concentration of ammonia may cause permanent eye damage–or blindness–and skin burns.
Children are most at risk for eye and skin problems resulting from ammonia inhalation due to their lower body weight then adults. If bacteria and residue from pet urine is not completely removed from carpet or rugs, the area may become very hazardous and cause the following:
- Tracheal burns, nasopharyngeal, alveolar edema, bronchiolar edema and airway damage–leading to respiratory distress or malfunction.
- Continual ammonia inhalation causes olfactory adaptation and fatigue.
- Cough phlegm which may lead to shortness of breath.
- Irritatation of the airways of the lungs, making it difficult for an individual to breathe easily and coughs that bring up phlegm may be an indication of a respiratory infection.
To safely remove all pet urine, you must hire a professional carpet cleaning company that specializes in pet odor removal. Truck mounted systems are more powerful to remove all the contaminants. The only true way to remove all harmful odors from your home is to use hot water extraction.
Remember your children roll on carpets and furniture on a daily basis. So why wouldn’t you do the best cleaning possible to keep them safe?
For those that believe in DIY -always remember it might be a quick fix, but never truly the right way.
- Consider renting an extractor or a wet vac to remove all traces of heavy stains in carpeting (get one from a local hardware store). This machine works much like a vacuum cleaner and is efficient and economical. Extracting/wet vac machines do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out. When you use these machines or cleaners, carefully follow the instructions.
- Use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer once the area is really cleaned (available at pet supply stores). Be sure to read and follow the cleaner’s directions for use, including testing the cleaner on a small, hidden portion of fabric first to be sure it doesn’t stain.
- Your job will be more difficult if urine has soaked down into the padding underneath your carpet. In some cases, you may need to take the drastic step of removing and replacing that portion of the carpet and padding.
Take every measure to make sure your family is safe from any toxic effects of inhaling pet urine in their lungs on a daily basis. Any cleaning measures will be beneficial.