Shocking new research reveals that a specific type of lung cancer many smokers develop comes from tiny tears in their lung tissue caused by microscopic glass fibers, also known as glass wool, found in many conventional cigarette filters. These rips in the epithelial (soft) tissue fuel the development of tumors and cancerous cells due to the constant overload of toxins, namely pesticides, nicotine and ammonia, contained in commercial cigarette smoke.
The filters of typical commercial cigarettes contain microscopic, needle-shaped shards of glass wool (like fiberglass insulation) which escape into the mouth and throat, and then lodge with tobacco tar in the lung tissue, surrounding the alveoli (tiny air sacs) and lead to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), emphysema and eventually lung cancer.
A physician”s assistant (PA) and an intensive care nurse at a major hospital reviewed the damaged lung tissue of several cigarette smokers and said the x-rays looked identical to those of patients exposed to asbestos, and that diagnostic imaging revealed what looked like “ground glass” which settled in the soft tissue near the bottom of the lungs (GGO – ground glass opacity). The interviewed nurse said, “When lung tissue is damaged over and over, it develops lesions, and the cancer plants itself in there like seeds.”
According to the PA, the tiny shards penetrate the “lipid bilayer, then embed in the lung tissue, causing the tissue to harden and eventually lose its ability to absorb oxygen.” This damage fuels the development of the same type of lung cancer (mesothelioma) associated with asbestos poisoning. He also explained how smoking destroys the cilia (tiny hairs) that help push excretions/mucus out, and how when smokers sleep, their breathing patterns relax and the “tar deposits creep in on damaged air sacs called blebs, eventually rupturing and collapsing them.” This is why when smokers awake in the morning they can experience unproductive coughing fits and/or bronchial spasms.
The cigarette filter (butt) acts as a buffer from the extreme heat of the cigarette”s burning chemicals, which can exceed 1700 degrees Fahrenheit during inhale. Fibrous glass has the heat-resistant qualities of asbestos, which makes it an efficient material for insulation; however, if you”ve ever been in an attic and got insulation on your skin, you already know how irritating the glass fibers can be, so now imagine what it”s doing to the inside of a smoker”s lungs.
Up to 12,000 microscopic glass fibers are tightly bound together, which explains why filters take between 10 to 15 years to disintegrate. If the filter were simply cotton rolled tightly in paper, a few rainstorms would break it up and wash it away within weeks. Filters are also constructed to catch the tar and the tobacco particles from coming through, but not entirely.
Although fiberglass is not the same as asbestos, it can be just as damaging to the human body. The long, very narrow fibers penetrate deep into lung tissue and remain there. One study conducted with rats showed that fibrous glass is a potent carcinogen, leading to changes in the DNA genetic structure and breaking down the immune system. This is one reason smoker”s fight colds, the flu, sinus and bronchial infections for much longer periods of time than non-smokers.