Workplace exposure

ARTICLES

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Stay cautious when working with mercury

Metallic mercury is a liquid at room temperature and can readily evaporate into the air. It’s also a potent neurotoxin that, in small amounts, can cause serious health problems, according to the California Department of Public Health.
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Understanding latex allergies

The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety describes latex as a milky sap produced by certain plants, shrubs and trees, including the commercial rubber tree Havea braziliensis. This protein substance has been identified by researchers as a major source of latex allergies.
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Protect workers’ hearing

Is the noise at your workplace harming your hearing? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise on the job every year.
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Recognize the hazards of formaldehyde

Widely known as a preservative in morgues, formaldehyde – a colorless, strong-smelling gas – can be found in chemicals, plywood and various household items, including glue and paper product coatings, according to OSHA. It’s also used as an industrial fungicide, germicide and disinfectant.
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Preventing silicosis

Silicosis is a severe chronic lung disease caused by inhaling crystalline silica. “Approximately 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace, including 2 million workers in construction and 300,000 workers in general industry, maritime and hydraulic fracturing,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.


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First aid for ammonia exposure

Working with ammonia requires caution. The flammable, colorless gas has the potential to explode if heated, warns the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety. It’s also extremely toxic.
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Know the facts: Occupational asthma

Occupational asthma can develop when a worker breathes in gases, chemical fumes, dust or other work-related substances. According to Mayo Clinic, it also can result from exposure to a substance a worker is sensitive to, triggering an allergic or immunological response.
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Lead: Don’t take it home

Are you exposed to lead at work? You may be if you make or fix batteries or radiators; make or paint ceramics; melt, cast or grind lead, brass or bronze; tear down or remodel houses, buildings or bridges; or work with scrap metal, the California Department of Public Health says.


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Keeping workers safe from asbestos

Asbestos, a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibers, was once touted as a “miracle product” for its strength and ability to resist corrosion and fire. However, asbestos can be extremely dangerous to workers, and is now known to cause cancer in humans.
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Understand the hazards of asphalt

Millions of tons of asphalt are produced and used in the paving and roofing industries every year, the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation notes, and more than 500,000 workers are exposed to fumes from asphalt.
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