5 Common But Harmful Chemicals in the Workplace

A group of minerals that form bundles of fibers. It has been widely used for many years in many industries, such as; in plastics, insulation, sound absorption materials, building materials, in automotive parts, paint, etc. The risk with asbestos is that it can damage the lungs and can lead to lung cancer.

This chemical has been around for many years, and has such functions such as being used in thermometers (it is being phased out), it was used in dental fillings, and it is used in some electronic equipment. Over the years it has caused many deaths via accidental poisoning. Because of many reasons, mercury has made its way into our environment, and many fish are now unsafe to eat because of the high mercury content they contain. Mercury poisoning can lead to damage to the nervous system, the kidneys, gums, teeth, digestive organs, and the endocrine organs. In addition, it can seriously harm a fetus and a newborn baby, more so if the exposed mother is breast-feeding.

A very common substance, often used for cleaning or for disinfecting purposes. It can take the form of a liquid or a gas. If liquid chlorine is spilled on the skin it will burn, with the severity pending on how pure it is and the amount of time it remains on the skin. If liquid chlorine is spilled or splashed in the eyes it can quickly cause permanent blindness. Chlorine in a gas form can cause serious and permanent damage to the lungs, and can cause death if exposure is severe enough. In addition, liquid chlorine will also give off strong gaseous fumes. Mixing of chlorine with other chemicals can produce even more poisonous fumes, or can even cause an explosion.

A chemical that was used widely used in paints. If your home is more than 20 years old there is a good chance that the paint used contained lead. Even if you repainted, unless you removed the old paint, there is a good chance there is lead still present. Lead can cause various health problems such as seizures, vomiting, appetite loss, headaches, fatigue, and kidney failure with long term exposure. Children are more vulnerable to lead because their bodies are still growing. It can affect their proper growth development both physically and mentally. Lead can also harm a fetus if the expecting mother is exposed to it.

Used to control insects and certain types of plants from growing, has been shown to cause many health problems ranging from skin rashes to cancers. Whenever possible these chemicals should not be used and alternatives should be sought.

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