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How chemicals enter and effect the body

20 March 2018

Almost every business uses chemicals today!

Chemical awareness in the work place is very important and is there to safeguard you and your employees. Managing chemicals in the workplace brings lots of benefits and can save you money. Being chemical aware will not only improve employee health and safety, cost savings can be achieved too. 

Limiting economic losses through effective work practices such as correct storage, handling use of disposal procedures. Potential environmental harm will also be reduced.

Exposure to chemicals in the workplace can cause many different types of harm.

Here are some of the ways chemical can enter the body and effect it.

  • Inhalation – breathing in contaminated air is the most common way that workplace chemicals enter the body.
  • Skin Contact – some chemicals , by direct or indirect contact can damage the skin or pass through the skin into the bloodstream.
  • Ingestion – workplace chemicals may be swallowed by accident if food or hands are contaminated.
  • Injection – Injection can occur when a sharp object like a needle punctures the skin and injects a chemical directly into the bloodstream.
  • Carcinogen – a chemical that causes or potently causes cancer like Asbestos.
  • Corrosive – a chemical that causes visible destruction of, or irreversible alterations in living tissue by chemical action at the site of contact e.g. hydrochloric acid.
  • Irritant – a chemical that is not corrosive but that causes reversible inflammatory effects on living tissue at the site of contact e.g. strong solvents.
  • Mutagen – A chemical that damages chromosomes e.g. benzane.
  • Sensitiser – a chemical that will cause an allergic reaction in a substantial  number of exposed people like isocyanates.
  • Teratogen – a chemical that causes birth defects such as thalidomide.