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Long-term safety risks kill 40,000 workers each year

N-propyl bromide (nPB) is used by thousands of workers in auto shops, dry cleaners and electronics manufacturing plants across the U.S. However, government officials and researchers have warned for over ten years that the chemical is linked to neurological damage and infertility when inhaled over extended periods. Nevertheless, the use of this chemical has expanded in the past several years. This sheds light on the problems among workplace safety.

The exponential growth and use of dangerous chemicals demonstrate the difficulty in ensuring that Americans can breathe fresh air at work. However, sources report that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration devotes most of its time to immediate dangers rather than preventing the silent killers, which ultimately claim more workers' lives.

While the agency has created new standards with exposure restrictions for 16 of the most toxic working hazards, thousands of other dangerous substances are left untouched. This leaves employers with the liberty to decide what level of exposure is safe.

According to the New York Times, illnesses caused by toxic workplace air hurt more than 200,000 employees in the country each year. Moreover, more than 40,000 Americans die from exposure to toxic chemicals from their jobs. With this in mind, maybe it is time for OSHA to refocus its attention on the inconspicuous killers.

If you suffer from workplace hazards, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced workers' compensation attorney in your area. A qualified lawyer can review your illness and help uncover your options for recovery from your workplace illness.

Source: The New York Times, "As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester," Ian Urbina, March 30, 2013

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