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Chemical Exposure

Exposure to chemicals by breathing, eating, drinking, injecting or touching them might cause a variety of different symptoms. The symptoms can range from minor to extremely dangerous.

Exposure to a toxic substance may affect the body immediately or chronically. For example, acid spilled on the hand burns the skin and causes immediate damage. However, regular exposure to tobacco smoke has a long-term effect: it can cause lung cancer 20 years later.

Every individual responds differently to chemical exposure, some will never be affected, others, who are more sensitive can get injured or sick.   

In most cases, the effect is not immediate, and serious illnesses are caused by continuous exposure. Different factors determine the severity of the exposure, such as the length of exposure, what chemical you were exposed to, how much and how often you were exposed to it, how it penetrated your body and your general well-being.

Workers such as factory workers, cleaning workers and exterminators can be exposed to harmful and poisonous substances without even realizing it. Chemical exposure can occur for various reasons: a technical malfunction in the manufacturing process, human error, improper storage, accidents during transport, etc.

Symptoms of Chemical Exposure

  • Nausea

  • Coughing

  • Burning of organs, such as the mouth, eyes or throat

  • Difficulty or painful breathing

  • Chest pain

  • Swollen throat or nose

Where Can Dangerous Chemicals Be Found?

  • At home- usually in small quantities. For example: detergents, hygiene products, cooking gas, pesticides, paints, and organic solvents.

  • Industry- pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and beverage, detergents, chemicals, fertilizers, electronics, textiles, ammunition, energy production, metal plating, paints.

  • Agriculture- Pesticides, fertilizers, detergents.

  • Transportation- airports and seaports, gas stations, garages, spare parts warehouses (mainly batteries), transport of hazardous materials on roads and trains.

How to Prevent Chemical Exposure at Home

  • Keep products and medicines in their original packages to avoid confusion.

  • Make sure all chemicals are out of children’s reach.

  • Make sure you read the whole label and never remove it. Follow all safety instructions.

  • Always return the lid back to the container, never leave it open.

Medical Help and First Aid

Please contact us without any delays if you or someone near you was exposed to a chemical through the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially if any of the symptoms appear.

First aid treatment can be given at home:

  • Remove any clothes or objects that were in contact with the chemical.

  • Clear the lungs by breathing fresh air.

  • If the eyes or skin were injured from a chemical, you should immediately rinse them with water.  The length of rinsing depends on the degree of the irritation made; it varies from five to 60 minutes.