Exogenous lipoid pneumonia caused by paraffin in an amateur fire breather

I. Weinberg, Z. G. Fridlender*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background Paraffin has characteristics that make it popular among fire breathers. Aims To describe a case of paraffin-induced lipoid pneumonia in a fire breather. Methods The patient was evaluated clinically in relation to his occupational history. Results A 32-year-old man presented with dyspnoea, tachypnoea and non-productive cough of 2 h duration that started immediately following an attempt to blow fire using paraffin as the volatile substance. He was discharged from the emergency ward but returned the next day presenting again with dyspnoea accompanied by mid-sternal pain, fever (38.1°C) and leucocytosis. Chest radiography showed perihilar punctuate infiltrations. A diagnosis of exogenous lipoid pneumonia caused by paraffin was made, and the patient was treated, with full recovery within a week. Conclusions Fire breathers must be viewed as a population at risk of paraffin-induced lipoid pneumonia.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)234-235
Number of pages2
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Exogenous lipoid pneumonia
  • Fire breather
  • Hydrocarbon solvents
  • Occupational risk
  • Paraffin


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