“Millions of workers are exposed to solvents on a daily basis. Health hazards associated with solvent exposure include toxicity to the nervous system, reproductive damage, liver and kidney damage, respiratory impairment, cancer, and dermatitis.” Often times workers or individuals that develop health issues related to solvent exposure, either simply do not know of the harms associated with solvents, or are not told their problems are related to this exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) has available on its website a list of hazardous chemicals. In addition, The Hazardous Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, requires employers with hazardous materials onsite to provide the employees with access to Material Safety Data Sheets, commonly known as “MSDS.” Each product containing hazardous material should have an MSDS. The Hazardous Communication Standard has specific requirements for the information which is to be contained in the MSDS. 29 CFR 1910.1200 (g)(2) Some of these requirements include:
- Identification of the substance; including the common names of the substance;
- The physical hazards of the substance, fire, explosion, etc.;
- Health hazards of the chemical, including signs and symptoms of over exposure, and any medical conditions which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the chemical;
- The primary way in which an individual is exposed to the chemical;
- Whether or not the chemical is a known or potential carcinogen;
- Precautions to take when using the chemical.
CHRONIC OVEREXPOSURE (as defined by OSHA recommended standards) MAY CAUSE CANCER WARNING HARMFUL TO THE SKIN, OR IF INHALED OR SWALLOWED If you are using a chemical or product at work and are concerned about the potential health effects of the chemical, you have the right to request your employer show you the MSDS for that product or chemical. If you choose to review the MSDS, becoming aware of the signs of potential exposure may be very beneficial to protecting your health. Unfortunately, numerous workers in the United States will suffer both injury and illness as a result of exposures in the workplace. Knowing what chemicals are located in the workplace and which chemicals the individual was exposed to, could help in the care and treatment, and as well as determining the cause of the injury or illness. If you are concerned you or a loved one have suffered an injury or illness as a result of exposures in the workplace, we welcome you to contact our office for a free consultation, 704.633.5244 / 800.849.5291
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