One of the rarer injury types is exposure to toxic gas or liquids. This is uncommon but very dangerous as you might guess. The issue is, it’s so rare that many of us have no idea how to deal with it. It’s going to almost always be experienced at work. Your employer should give you protective equipment, gear, and training. Even still, you can get seriously hurt by exposure to chemicals. It might have been for an hour or even a few minutes but the effects can be felt for a long time. This is especially true if you breathed it in, whether you knew it while it happened or not. It’s something that you should be prepared for just in case it happens to you if you work in a construction company, engineering facility, or some kind of manufacturing or storage profession.
What is toxic?
There are lots of different things that are toxic but some are more harmful than others. A toxic substance is essentially poisonous and can cause health problems. People often think of these chemicals like acids or some kind of very hazardous waste product (HWP). this could be anything from household cleaners like bleach, or perhaps pesticides sprayed over food, it might even be some cosmetic products, etc. The truth is, there is any number of daily products we consume that have either been in contact with toxic material or are toxic to some degree. Chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs are some of the most common types that cause issues with toxic injury.
- Toxins can make your skin itch
- They can make you feel nausea
- You might feel faint or want to vomit
- And you could have trouble sleeping
- Not to mention, your body falls ill with aches and pains.
If you are ever exposed to toxic chemicals, you should be ready for the recovery process. It might be short or it could be long. You should speak with your personal injury attorneys first so you can see if you are able to receive some compensation to pay for time off from work, healthcare bills, long-term healthcare and possible mental health concerns. Be ready for the recovery road that will be hard no matter what.
If you have been exposed to a B-level chemical, it can potentially cause cancer. If you were exposed for a length of the time unknowingly, this can also mean that your blood is affected such as a higher frequency to cause clots. You may also need to receive specialist care and medication, which as you can guess will cost a lot.
Exposures to toxic chemicals to workers has not been uncommon. For example, toxic waste around nuclear plants, landfills and other areas have caused workers to be permanently affected.
Here are some things you should do to protect yourself.
- Always wear eye protection. If you know your work involves handling or being around toxic chemicals, you should wear protective eye equipment. This is so the fumes that may be floating around in the air, could affect your eyesight.
- Wear a face mask. Little tiny bits of fibreglass in the air can be very harmful if breathed in. So if you work in a design studio, a manufacturing facility or some kind of work that involves shaving down fibreglass, wear a face mask if you can.
- Always wear gloves. Even if you are not directly handling chemicals yourself, little droplets can be spilled onto other surfaces that you come into contact with. So as a precaution, wear rubber or some other synthetic gloves.
Healing from toxic exposure
Medication and rest is the clear answer. This means you need to take time off from work, be exposed to fresh air, drink plenty of water and do as the doctor says. The key is to avoid long-term damage to your nerves, limbs and mental health. You may need to go through a specific detoxifying treatment such as sweating the toxins out with exercise or a sauna treatment. Taking vitamin C can also help, as it pushes out the toxins from within your body, by just taking 500-1,000mg a day. For your mental health, play sports, go hiking or take some time off from your normal routine with a holiday.
Toxic chemical exposure is a serious event and health concern. Your employer should never put you in such a position, but if you are ever exposed and come into contact with toxic chemicals, you should now know what to do.