I was shocked and horribly sadden by the nature of what happened.
An Edmonton man died of anaphylactic shock after being exposed to a walnut-based product being used for sandblasting in the same building where he was testing air quality. On Oct. 2, David and Mabel Mathews received a call that their son, Justin Mathews, 33, had been taken to the University of Alberta Hospital.
When they arrived he was unresponsive, on a breathing machine and in a coma. “The doctors said 80 per cent of the brain is not active at all,” Mabel Mathews said.
Then came the tough decision to take him off life-support, as doctors had suggested. He died after being taken off a breathing machine five days later. Walnut dust prompted an anaphylactic reaction, causing Mathews’s throat to swell up and leaving him short of breath.
I always worry about being in a small room with any nuts, but to imagine the room being sandblasted with nuts is frankly terrifying.