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The health effects of exposure to toxic chemicals

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

Workers in Kansas City may often come across toxic chemicals without knowing. There are many situations where this can happen. For instance, an employer may have failed to inform its employees about toxins in the substances they handle. Another possibility is that the worker may have entered a work area without proper gear to protect them from toxins other employees were handling.

What exactly is a toxic substance? The New York State Department of Health defines it as any substance that may cause adverse health effects or that may be poisonous. The DOH cautions that though many workers keep an eye out for the obvious poisons, they may forget to factor in potential toxins in cleaning supplies, gasoline, pesticides and fuel.

Different substances have different levels of toxicity. Because of this, when examining the effects that they may or may not have on the body, there are some factors to keep in mind. These include the following:

  •          Whether or not the exposure is ongoing
  •          Length of exposure
  •          Route of exposure
  •          Type of toxin
  •          Potency
  •          Dose

It may be well to note that some people are more sensitive to toxins in the environment than others. However, the following toxins tend to be unhealthy for everyone who comes into direct contact with them:

  •          Methylene chloride
  •          Carbon monoxide
  •          Cadmium
  •          Asbestos
  •          Uranium
  •          Lead

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are simple ways people can reduce exposure to toxic chemicals. Being aware of chemicals in the environment is a great first step. One good way to do this is to read labels that caution users against exposure.

Exposure to toxins is potentially dangerous. Side effects may range from momentary dizziness to cancer to death. Because of this, it is important to identity toxins in the work and home environment and follow all necessary guidelines related to handling and disposing of them.