Chemical safety

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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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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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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Working safely with bleach

Bleach is a chemical that is diluted and used as a cleaning agent to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Handling bleach requires caution and care because it’s corrosive, which means it can irritate or burn the skin and eyes, according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.
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Toluene safety

Toluene is a clear and colorless liquid that turns to vapor when exposed to air at room temperature. According to OSHA, it’s often used in a mixture with other solvents and chemicals, such as paint pigments, so employees who work with paint, metal cleaners and adhesives may be at risk for exposure.
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Anhydrous ammonia: Know the dangers

Anhydrous ammonia – used in manufacturing, refrigeration and agriculture – is a pungent, colorless and toxic gas or liquid that, when concentrated, is corrosive to human tissue upon contact, according to NIOSH.


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Cleaning chemicals: Know the risks

Breathing problems. Itchy skin, rashes and burns. Irritated eyes. For some workers, including maintenance workers, janitors and housekeepers, these symptoms may have a common factor: cleaning products.
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