sandblasting with walnut-basedproduct can be deadly
Edmonton worker allergic towalnuts dies after inhaling particles at worksite
An Edmonton manis dead after he went into anaphylactic shock on a worksite where sandblastingwas taking place with a walnut-based product.
’There is a flaw for sure, and I’m reallysorry my brother had to pay the price’
Travis McEwan · CBCNews](http://cbc.ca/beta/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364) · 6minutes ago
Justin Mathews’ parentsreact to their son’s death from an allergic reaction to a walnut shell-basedsandblasting product 0:58
An Edmonton man died ofanaphylactic shock after being exposed to a walnut-based product being used forsandblasting in the same building where he was testing air quality.
On Oct. 2, David and MabelMathews received a call that their son, Justin Mathews, 33, had been taken tothe University of Alberta Hospital.
When they arrived he wasunresponsive, on a breathing machine and in a coma.
“The doctors said 80 percent of the brain is not active at all,” Mabel Mathews said.
Then came the tough decisionto take him off life-support, as doctors had suggested. He died after beingtaken off a breathing machine five days later.
Walnut dust prompted ananaphylactic reaction, causing Mathews’s throat to swell up and leaving himshort of breath.
Justin’s parents say he wasinside the Rossdale fire station, which is being renovated, for close to 20minutes while testing the air quality with a co-worker. He was unaware aproduct containing walnut shells was being used to sandblast walls in thebuilding. When he started having trouble breathing, Mathews rushed outside.
“He went to the caroutside and he couldn’t breathe. He was leaning on the car and trying to catch[his] breath,” his mother said.
Justin Mathewswas taken off life-support on Oct. 7 after he suffered anaphylactic shock afterinhaling a walnut shell-based product on a worksite. (Sam Martin/CBC)
He then collapsed and fell tothe ground. Edmonton fire crews responded first, followed by an ambulance.
Mathew’s parents say he didn’thave an epinephrine autoinjector, which is used to treat anaphylaxis, at thetime, and he wouldn’t expect to have a reaction unless he was eating. He wasvery cautious when ordering food, they said. He would carry an EpiPen whentravelling outside of Canada.