Most people come into contact with chemicals on a daily basis, especially
if they use household chemicals to clean their kitchen, bathroom, and
floors. Although minimal exposure to certain chemicals is generally deemed
safe, continuous or prolonged exposure to chemicals is not considered
safe or healthful.
We can be exposed to chemicals at home, but generally that’s a choice
that we make. We can choose to purchase non-toxic “green”
or environmentally friendly cleaners or even vinegar to clean our homes
if we want to avoid the toxic effects of household chemicals.
But what about other exposures? Aside from their homes, people are frequently
exposed to chemicals through their work. Many of these chemicals are just
as dangerous as household chemicals, if not
Dangerous Chemicals at Work
Dozens of industries deal with hazardous, toxic chemicals on a daily basis.
In order for workers to be made sick by a harmful chemical, a certain
amount of it must enter their bodies. Harmful chemicals can get into workers’
bodies through the air they breathe, through vapors that burn their eyes,
or they can be absorbed through the worker’s skin.
Everyone responds differently to chemicals. Some people may come into contact
with a dangerous chemical daily and are never harmed. Others, may be extra
sensitive to a chemical’s vapors and get extremely sick. Sometimes,
workers develop deadly
occupational diseases after being exposed to a particular chemical for years.
Several factors determine whether a worker gets sick from chemical exposure, such as:
- The type of chemical,
- The amount of the chemical that he or she is exposed to,
- How long the worker was exposed to the chemical,
- How often the worker was exposed to the chemical,
- How the chemical entered the worker’s body, and
- The worker’s overall health.
Common Contaminants that Harm Workers
There are literally dozens of different chemicals that affect workers’
respiratory system, renal system, cardiovascular system, reproductive
system, immune system, skin, hepatic system, and nervous system.
Some of these harmful chemicals include: asbestos (old insulation), radon,
carbon monoxide, lead, uranium, chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, carbon
disulfide (industrial production), nitrates (fertilizers), methylene chloride,
arsenic (pressure treated wood), and pesticides.
Chemicals, such as arsenic, carbon monoxide and cyanide affect the nervous
system. Long-term exposure can lead to serious health effects, including
confusion, speech problems, loss of sensation, muscle strength, or coordination.
Exposure to chemicals, such as asbestos, soot, benzene, or carbon monoxide
can lead to respiratory problems, such as lung cancer, chronic bronchitis,
emphysema, and decreased oxygen supply in the blood.
Chemicals Causing Occupational Diseases
There are too many ill health effects associated with chemical exposure
to list. We can say for sure that many dangerous chemicals used in the
workplace cause dozens of occupational diseases, which can lead to disability,
a decreased quality of life, or in the worst cases, a premature death.
If you are suffering from an occupational disease as a result of being
exposed to certain dangerous chemicals from your work, we urge you to
contact our New York
workers’ compensation firm to schedule a
free case evaluation with an experienced member of our legal team.