What are the types of chemical exposure?

What are the types of chemical exposure?

Fact Checked

Those who work with dangerous chemicals must fully understand the routes these chemicals take to enter the body in order to avoid exposure. It is important to be familiar with the potential hazards with any chemicals in the workplace. In the workplace, information regarding chemicals used must be provided by the employers. At home, there are also household chemicals present and these must have warnings and instructions on their labels. Take note that chemicals can enter the body on four routes – ingestion, inhalation, injection and absorption.

Ingestion

Ingestion involves swallowing dangerous chemicals. A case of accidental ingestion of a particular chemical most often occurs when food or beverage is contaminated or when the chemical splashes into or close to the mouth. Once the chemical is ingested, it can spread via the digestive system to other parts of the body or can damage the digestive tract directly.

The best way to prevent ingestion of chemicals is to observe proper hygiene and correct storing of food. In the workplace, prevent unintentional ingestion due to the splash of chemicals by using face shields. In case a chemical was ingested, it is best to seek immediate emergency care.

Inhalation

The most common exposure to chemicals is through inhalation of dangerous mist, dust and vapors. Once an individual enters a contaminated environment, breathing without any protective gear will allow hazardous materials to enter the lungs where they can enter the bloodstream and spread all over the body or cause damage to the lungs. Prevent inhalation by using personal respirators and proper ventilation of the workplace.

Absorption

Chemical exposure
The most common exposure to chemicals is through inhalation of dangerous mist, dust and vapors.

The absorption of dangerous chemicals through the skin or eyes allows a particular chemical to enter into the bloodstream and muscle tissues. As as result, it spreads to the rest of the body as well as cause damage to the skin, eyes or muscle tissues. The best way to prevent absorption of chemicals include the use of safety goggles, safety glasses, lab coats, gloves, aprons and other protective equipment.

Injection of chemicals

The instillation of hazardous materials involves piercing of the skin with a pointed or sharp object that contains dangerous chemicals. The most common source of exposure is utilizing hypodermic needles, but any sharp object can pose as a risk.

Once injected through the skin, it allows the dangerous chemical direct access to the bloodstream and spread throughout the entire body. The preventive measures include proper care in handling of sharp objects as well as using gloves and other protective gear.

It is important to note that even at home there are dangerous chemicals present. Label these chemicals properly regarding its use and storage. They must also be out of reach of children in order to prevent accidental exposure.

FACT CHECK

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_hazard

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/chemical_burns/article_em.htm

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