Workplace poisoning

Chemical poisoning is one of the most common problems that a worker can face at his workplace. This kind of exposure to chemicals that are commonly employed in offices or factories can cause a variety of health issues apart from just poisoning, such as skin infection, lung cancer, liver and kidney disorder, etc. 

About 25% of the employees all over the world typically use dangerous substances like chemicals, acids, poisonous gases, flammable liquids, etc. Hazardous materials can have a gaseous, solid or liquid form. The chemical can be concentrated or diluted.

Many manufacturers and shippers of dangerous substances are legally compelled to incorporate warning markers and safety information with their respective products. This safety information is supposed to guide them with safe handling practices. 

Nevertheless, chemical poisoning cannot be wholly avoided even after following the safety guidelines. Even minor carelessness can cause significant accidents leading to life-threatening effects. 
What are the various Safety Data Sheets available for hazardous substances?

According to the law, manufacturers and shippers of dangerous substances need to paste warning stickers and safety information with the products that they sell.

This Safety Data Sheet records relevant information on managing the product carefully. They include information like: 

a. The potential health effects caused due to the chemicals 
b. We need to take various precautions
c. Storage suggestions
d. Different emergency first aid 

What are the Deadly Products in your Workplace that cause Chemical Poisoning?

Quill is an online source related to office supplies and equipment and has recently assembled an infographic and summarised data on some of the common occupational hazards caused due to chemicals.

According to their report, "A combination of factors leaves countless buildings in a toxic state." Their report suggests that there are countless things both inside and outside the office, which can be deadly for the employees and can cause chemical Poisoning. So here is a list of five major poisonous products that cause Chemical Poisoning:

1. Carbon Monoxide from Exhaust Fumes 

Since carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, & tasteless gas, it can be of extreme risk to workers leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. The most typical symptoms of this Poisoning include dizziness, headache, weakness, vomiting, chest pain, nausea, and confusion.

Inhaling a large amount of carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and, in worse cases, can lead to death. Emission of Carbon monoxide takes place from Exhaust pipes, furnaces for burning fuel or coal, gasoline engines, and sometimes even gasoline generators, various engines, heaters, forklifts, etc.

The exhaust from different cars and buildings also emit CO and several other poisonous gases and can cause some severe health impairment. You might encounter toxic fumes more often if you work close to the parking garage or exhaust pipelines. 

2. Ammonia from pesticides and paints

Ammonia is a colorless and tasteless gas, but it does have a distinct scent that alerts people about its presence. We generally apply Ammonia in the farming and food production industries, as fertilizers and as a refrigerant. Further, its usage takes place in Pesticides and Paints. Continuous exposure to Ammonia causes burns and irritation on the skin, eyes, mouth, throat.

If a person gets continuous exposure to Ammonia present in pesticides or paints, it can even cause ammonia poisoning leading to cancer or even death. Therefore one must be careful while using pesticides or while working with paint and use protective gear while handling them.

3. Chlorine from cleaning agents

Since Chlorine is much more substantial than regular air and hence this toxic gas can easily cluster near poorly ventilated areas close to exposure. We generally use Chlorine and its by-products in the paper industry and sometimes for cleaning purposes in the various workplaces.

Although its low-level exposure causes only irritations like that of the nose, throat, or eye, higher concentrations of Chlorine from multiple sources both in liquid or gaseous form can cause coughing, chest pain, vomiting, and in worse cases can even cause death. Hence workers need to be very careful while working near this chemical substance.

4. Hydrochloric Acid from disinfectants

Hydrochloric Acid is an extremely corrosive acid. In its liquid state, it is a mixture of hydrogen and Chlorine in water. It works as an excellent cleaning agent. In its gaseous state, it can permanently damage eyes, skin, respiratory organs, etc. and inhaling it can lead to chemical poisoning and even death in some extreme cases.

When this Acid falls on human skin, it erodes the soft skin tissues, causing terrible burns. Also though it’s an excellent cleaning product and kills all germs and bacteria, we must handle it with extreme care. Workers need to be careful that the Acid does not touch their skin. Even chemical workers who transport the Acid need to take precautions.

They need to ensure that they do not come in contact with the Acid. This is one of the most deadly chemicals that one can come across in their Workplace.

5. Sulfuric Acid from generator batteries

Sulphuric Acid, which we also call battery acid, is a clear but oily and an extremely corrosive substance. It can cause harsh chemical and thermic burns on the skin even due to the slightest of exposure. If Sulphuric Acid comes in contact with a person's eye, he can go blind instantly.

It is generally used in diluted form in workplaces for cleaning purposes or recharging batteries of cars and generators. Inhaling the fumes of this chemical can also lead to Poisoning and death. We must handle it very carefully. The worker must take extreme precautions while using it and ensure it never comes in contact with their skin. 

Wrapping Up

Finally, we conclude that these are the five most deadly chemicals that can cause Poisoning. These can bring serious health issues at workplaces. Workers must be careful while using them. You need to follow all the safety precautions.


Related blog: 4 Types of Industrial Poisoning that are on the rise this decade!



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