Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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Black Shampoo
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Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by Black Shampoo » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:47 pm

I'm young - 32 - and I just started on CPAP. It's looking like I'm going to be using this for the rest of my life. I can't help but worry, though, about the fact that I'm basically taking bong hits out of heated plastic for 8 hours a night for...the next 40+ years if I'm lucky. With the recent freakout over BPA and other links to problems caused by freaky chemicals in that plastic that's in contact with so much of our daily lives, I can't help but wonder...am I going to come down with lung cancer in a few decades? Other problems? Have there been any long-term studies with CPAP and this stuff?

It's not comforting that Redmed's response is basically, "yeah, our stuff has BPA, but uh...NOBODY'S PROVEN IT'S BAD YET." :shock:

http://www.resmed.com/us/assets/documen ... 051111.pdf

What about the silicone touching my face every night for decades? What about the cheap and weird plastics in my machine, in the water reservoir, in the hose, etc.?

Anyone else wonder or worry about this stuff?

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mgaggie
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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by mgaggie » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:52 pm

No, I don't worry about it at all.

I am happy that finally my constant tiredness is treatable by an easy means. When my apnea is under control, i don't have to worry about falling asleep at the wheel while driving. My risk of heart attacks, strokes, etc is greatly reduced.

You seem determined to find any reason out there to not use cpap, why?

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by Janknitz » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:59 pm

Yes, I'm worried. There's a lot of mixed info about whether BPA is dangerous or not. What we do know is it's found in our bloodstreams and our mother's breast milk, and safe or not it DOESN'T BELONG THERE. So it is a concern.

But long oxygen desaturations and apnea are a more immediate concern to me. Right now BPA in my CPAP system is not as immediate a concern.

I have taken the action to control what I can. We minimize the use of plastics in our kitchen by storing in glass containers (occasionally metal), we don't cook in plastic containers, we try to buy whole natural foods that aren't wrapped in plastic or stored in plastic containers, I've switched out my coffee maker to one with less plastic that comes in contact with the water and the grounds for only the shortest possible period of time, etc. It's not perfect, but it's the best I can do.
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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by BlackSpinner » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:59 pm

Black Shampoo wrote:I'm young - 32 - and I just started on CPAP. It's looking like I'm going to be using this for the rest of my life. I can't help but worry, though, about the fact that I'm basically taking bong hits out of heated plastic for 8 hours a night for...the next 40+ years if I'm lucky. With the recent freakout over BPA and other links to problems caused by freaky chemicals in that plastic that's in contact with so much of our daily lives, I can't help but wonder...am I going to come down with lung cancer in a few decades? Other problems? Have there been any long-term studies with CPAP and this stuff?


Well you can die young from lack of O2 while you sleep or take a risk on a getting cancer potentially a few decades down the road.

What about the silicone touching my face every night for decades? ?

Mask liners are wonderful

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by Goofproof » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:36 pm

Use of XPAP, will increase your chance of contracting Cancer, by living longer the odd's are better as you will get Cancer due to aging. Jim

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by stage0 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:42 pm

You have an option of using the cloth-type masks

https://www.cpap.com/productpage/sleepwe ... -cpap.html

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by archangle » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:18 pm

The fear of plastics is mostly nonsense or greatly exaggerated.

Even if it isn't nonsense, worrying about plastic exposure with CPAP is like a diabetic deciding not to use insulin because they're afraid they'll be killed in a car accident going to the pharmacy.

As for silicone, many women get silicone breast implants. Despite bad press, and lots of lawsuits, there's little evidence that any "chemical" harm is done by silicone implants, even when they rupture. It's pretty clear to me that this exposure is at a much higher level than what a CPAP mask or products will expose you to.

Realize that in order for chemicals be in the air from the CPAP, the mass of the plastic parts has to decrease over time. There can't be much mass of chemicals coming out of the plastic, or the plastic parts would get lighter and evaporate over time.

If it makes you feel better, run the machine for half a minute or so before putting the mask on to flush out any contaminated air. In ResMed S9 CPAP machines, the water in the water tank doesn't touch any plastic when it's just sitting there.

It wouldn't hurt to wash a new mask or other parts thoroughly before use. I dishwash my Swift FX mask and water tank, even though ResMed says not to dishwash the mask. You could also open the package and let it air out for a few days to let some of the new plastic smell out.

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by Drowsy Dancer » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:20 am

This is way, way down on my list of things to worry about.

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by Woody » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:04 pm

I don't worry about cancer as much as falling asleap while driving. I did that
a few times before I got my CPAP I was just lucky i only nodged out for a moment
and woke up before I hit someone .......

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by hmorpheus » Sat May 04, 2013 3:43 pm

I received a new Resmed S9 Autoset on April 30, 2013 and detected a smell, after the first use, which I'd characterize as a "sweet fragrance". I haven't used the humidifier, which I left detached. The exteriors of the unused humidifier and the AutoSet both smelled of the same sweet fragrance. I haven't taken the reservoir out of the humidifier to smell it. An internet search led me to the Apnea Support Forum.

On May 3, 2013 (after three days use), as a test, I detached the hose and took off the filter-cover/filter unit and then ran the machine in treatment mode with air blowing for several minutes. The "fragrance" was quite detectable at the end of my test, which means it was originating from the unit itself and not from the filter. I could smell the sweet smell at the rubber couplings on each end of the detached hose. I don't know if the smell on the couplings was residual from usage of the unit or if it was inherent. The hose and the rubber couplings may have their own, separate, odor problems.

The fact that a "sweet fragrance" is coming from the unit is quite troubling since a "smell" is particulate matter being detected by the olfactory system. Large interior particles, and any residual machining oils on any metal parts inside the machine, leftover from the manufacturing process, would most likely be cleared out quickly with use. That essentially leaves degassing of volatile compounds in the form of micro-particulates originating from the machine itself. Inhaled micro-particulates can travel deep into the lungs and may both coat lung material as well as get absorbed into the bloodstream. The exteriors of the AutoSet and the humidifier appear to be made of plastic. I don't know what materials make up the interior components.

Plastics are typical materials that degas micro-particulate volatiles. Many plastics incorporate phthalate esters to enhance certain physical properties of the plastics. Wikipedia contains the following text under its "Phthalate" entry:

"Medical devices and tubing may contain 20-40% Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) by weight, which "easily leach out of tubing when heated (as with warm saline/blood) ".[9] Several medical devices contain phthalates including, but not limited to, IV tubing, gloves, nasogastric tubes and respiratory tubing."

Note that phthalates are esters, and "Esters with low molecular weight are commonly used as fragrances and (are) found in essential oils and pheromones."--from the Wikipedia entry on "ester". My characterization of the smell from the machine as a "sweet fragrance" was made before I discovered that phthalates are esters. Phthalate ingestion is associated with breast cancer, endocrine disruption and other effects (from Wikipedia).

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by billbolton » Sat May 04, 2013 8:23 pm

Black Shampoo wrote:I can't help but worry....

In that case its likely the effects of being continually stressed will get you before anything else does :idea:

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by Black Shampoo » Sun May 05, 2013 3:39 pm

I really wish there had been more serious responses to this. No offense to "older" members of the forum, but this matters to me because I'm not in the "twilight years," I've got decade after decade of sucking on this thing ahead of me. Lung cancer is a hell of a way to go when you've watched a family member do it.

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by SleepyonMagnoliaSt » Sun May 05, 2013 3:44 pm

To me it's a lot like the risks of using steroids in a sick asthmatic patient who is having trouble breathing. Yes, long term use of steroids can cause issues, but breathing is an essential part of living.

I'm 28 years old, there's a good chance I'll end up on a PAP for life. Meanwhile my 7 year old has been on heavy steroids and medications since the age of 4 months. Take away those medications and there is no quality of life. She can't run, she can't play, she's sick all the time, on oxygen.

It's a no brainer. Really that's how CPAP is to me. If that makes sense.

Lung Cancer is a hell of a way to go. But I watched my daughter die from being taken off a ventilator and let me tell you, that is a horrible horrible thing to watch and the gasping noise Apnea sufferers make? Is very similar.

You can't focus on the future and not live in the present. Worrying about BPA is ok, but in such a way that you don't want to use something that helps improve your quality of life isn't good.

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by mgaggie » Sun May 05, 2013 6:27 pm

I'm 37, so I'm in my twilight years?

How about you answer my previous question, why are you so determined to find any excuse to not use a cpap, achine?

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Re: Long-term cancer, etc. risks of CPAP?

Post by BlackSpinner » Sun May 05, 2013 6:44 pm

Black Shampoo wrote:I really wish there had been more serious responses to this. No offense to "older" members of the forum, but this matters to me because I'm not in the "twilight years," I've got decade after decade of sucking on this thing ahead of me. Lung cancer is a hell of a way to go when you've watched a family member do it.


Like I said, use the cpap machine and you may have lots of decades, don't use it and you won't and those you have will feel like crap.

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71. The lame can ride on horseback, the one-handed drive cattle. The deaf, fight and be useful. To be blind is better than to be burnt on the pyre. No one gets good from a corpse. The Havamal