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[L. fumus, smoke]
Vapors, esp. those with irritating qualities.

nitric acid fumes

The vapors of nitric acid (HNO3). They are used in various chemical processes. Poisoning is produced by the action of the corrosive fumes on the respiratory tract.


Findings include choking, gasping, swelling of mucous membranes, tightness in the chest, pulmonary edema, cough, and shock. Symptoms may last for 1 week or more.


The patient must be removed immediately from the fumes and good ventilation of the lungs maintained. Therapy is given for shock and pulmonary edema. Administration of oxygen under pressure using a mask may be required along with analgesics and anxiolytics as needed. Clothes must be removed if they are contaminated. Steroids may help diminish the inflammatory response of the lungs.


odorous gases and other volatile materials; inhalation of irritating fumes causes coughing and, if sufficiently severe, irreversible pulmonary edema.
References in classic literature ?
The potent fluids of McGary were disquieted and they sent new fumes to his head.
My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites
12 was half open, and there came out into the streak of light thick fumes of cheap, poor tobacco, and the sound of a voice, unknown to Levin; but he knew at once that his brother was there; he heard his cough.
Being much tired with the walk, and getting up so early, he dozed a little at first; then, quite overpowered by fatigue and the fumes of the tobacco, fell asleep.
This is pleasant,' said Bob Sawyer, turning up his coat collar, and pulling the shawl over his mouth to concentrate the fumes of a glass of brandy just swallowed.
To divert my mind, I took up the newspaper which had covered the little basket of refreshments, and which now lay at the bottom of the coach, blushing with a deep-red stain and emitting a potent spirituous fume from the contents of the broken bottle of Kalydor.
Neither let any prince, or state, be secure concerning discontentments, because they have been often, or have been long, and yet no peril hath ensued: for as it is true, that every vapor or fume doth not turn into a storm; so it is nevertheless true, that storms, though they blow over divers times, yet may fall at last; and, as the Spanish proverb noteth well, The cord breaketh at the last by the weakest pull.
The majority and the most concerned contaminants in cooking fumes are the liquid particles of water and culinary grease or oil (Wolbrink and Sarnosky 1992).
GLASGOW'S subway was shut down yesterday after a chemical fumes scare.
A probe is under way today into how seven sailors were overcome by fumes on a warship off Hartlepool.
SAUGUS -- A county Fire Department hazardous materials crew descended on Highlands Elementary School Monday afternoon after a teacher became sick breathing strong fumes escaping from a pile of mulch, but the situation was not judged an emergency.
Workers can be exposed in the fumes or spray from operations using these compounds, including in scrap-related operations.