Metallic mercury is extremely toxic. As a potent neurotoxin, even very
small amounts can damage a worker’s health. At room temperature,
mercury is liquid and it evaporates easily. What does this mean for workers?
It means they can be exposed to mercury by having skin contact or breathing
mercury vapors in the air. But that’s not all.
Workers can also be exposed if they use instruments or equipment that contains
mercury and they break, releasing dust, liquid, or vapors containing metallic mercury.
Are you Exposed to Mercury at Work?
Are you being exposed to mercury at work? You may be if you work at a dental
office, a healthcare facility, a laboratory, a hardware store, a landfill,
a lighting equipment manufacturer, a drinking water or wastewater treatment
plant, a fluorescent bulb recycler, or a recycling facility that handles
or recycled fluorescent bulbs.
There are various instruments and equipment that contain mercury and if
they break, they can release mercury, which can evaporate in the air.
Some examples include some types of plumbing equipment, some types of
HVAC equipment, fluorescent light bulbs, thermostat switches, blood pressure
gauges, and various medical instruments.
Health Problems Caused By Mercury
People are mainly exposed to mercury by inhaling its vapors. This can occur
when metallic mercury vapors or dust are released in the air in the course
of employment. This can happen when fluorescent lightbulbs are crushed
or when a mercury-containing instrument is broken and the worker inhales
Mercury can cause the following health problems:
- Reproductive problems
- Kidney damage
- Nervous system damage
If you’re in the dental field or fluorescent bulb recycling, you’re
especially at risk. Dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists,
for example, can be exposed to mercury when grinding, repairing, handling,
or placing amalgam fillings in patients. Additionally, if mercury is not
properly removed, it can stay in carpets and continue poisoning the air.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NY
We are only scratching the surface in regard to mercury exposure and how
it can be extremely toxic for workers. If you’re concerned that
you’re suffering from an
occupational disease due to mercury exposure,
contact our firm at once to request a
free case evaluation with a Queens
workers’ compensation attorney.