Industrial chemicals have the potential to cause illness, either from incremental long-term exposure or from a one-time event. Some industrial chemicals are reactive and unstable, meaning they are very flammable and can explode easily, causing burns and other secondary injuries. Other injuries can result when a worker is exposed to a toxic chemical. Whether inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, these chemicals can cause serious health effects, including cancer and reproductive harm.
The kind of health effects caused by chemical exposure depend on the type of chemical involved, the duration and frequency of the exposure, the amount of chemical you were exposed to, and the way the chemical got into your body.
Toxic chemicals can affect different parts of the body depending on the type of chemical. Some chemicals that can affect the cardiovascular system include:
- Carbon disulfide
Those with reproductive effects include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Methyl mercury
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCPs)
Industrial chemicals that have been linked to cancer include:
- Vinyl chloride
If you believe that you may be having an adverse health reaction because of an on-the-job exposure to a toxic chemical, it's important to consult with a health care professional as soon as possible, and also contact a lawyer with experience working on workplace chemical exposure cases. If your illness can be shown to be a result of a lack of safety precautions taken by your employer or another type of employer negligence, you may be eligible for compensation to help pay for medical bills, lost work hours and other expenses related to your chemical exposure.