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What Chemicals Might Be Making You Sick in the Workplace?

A northern California worker does not have to work in a related field to be at risk for seriously harmful chemical exposure, an incident which may occur all at once or over an extended period of time. While construction workers and those working in a field directly dealing with chemical use are often exposed to highly dangerous chemicals, even an everyday office worker may be impacted by chemical exposure, often in more subtle, but still harmful, ways.

To keep yourself and coworkers safe at work, be aware of the potentially hazardous chemicals you may come across and how they might affect you.

  • Asbestos: Previously used in fire-retardant insulation, if breathed in, often during construction work, it can lead to mesothelioma and other deadly conditions.
  • Lead: Used in many metals, if exposed to a high enough level, a person can develop nervous system and brain disorders.
  • Mercury: Used in many different devices, if it is ingested or inhaled, it will build up in the system and, like lead, lead to both cognitive and physical dysfunction.
  • Carbon Monoxide: Expelled by fuel burning machinery, if exposed, a person may lose consciousness and a high enough concentration will asphyxiate and kill a victim.
  • Pesticides, Herbicides, and Insecticides: These chemicals are used in not only farming and other agricultural work, but in buildings to kill off unwanted creatures, bugs, and plants. However, they have a toxic effect on humans as well, ranging from skin irritation to nervous system damage to death due to the harmful chemicals, such as arsenic, found in them.
  • Welding Fumes: The gases and particles created by welding are often toxic to welders and anyone working in the area. The process often creates carbon dioxide, ozone, and heavy metal fumes, which can all damage the lungs, nervous system, and other organs.
  • Ammonia: Used in cleaners, fertilizers, and many other compounds, this chemical can cause irritation and burns if a person comes into direct contact with it. While toxicity is not usually an issue, severe chemical burn accidents can also affect the eyes and lungs.

Suffering an illness from chemical exposure can result in losses as serious as any workplace injury; as such, it is important for affected workers to search for proper workers’ compensation. At Caputo and Van Der Walde – Injury & Accident Attorneys, our San Jose chemical exposure lawyers will put their skills and resources to use in effectively representing you and finding you the compensation you need to recover without unnecessary financial losses. For more information on how we can help, call us today at (800) 900-0863.