What dangers do workplace toxins pose?

| May 12, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

A recent study published by the United Nations (UN) captures how one of the biggest occupational hazards workers face worldwide is toxic exposure. The UN’s data shows that at least one worker dies from exposure to a hazardous substance every 30 seconds.

Research shows that employees don’t have to work in mining or chemical labs to face exposure to these hazardous substances, either. Learning more about exposure risks and the long-term prognosis once it occurs may aid you in demanding stronger protections of your employer now so that you don’t end up sick down the road.

Toxic exposure is a concern in many industries

Various reports of toxic exposure in unexpected places have emerged in recent years here in the U.S. In one instance, a pet food manufacturing employee reported that her employer forced her to inhale corrosive chemicals by not providing adequate protective gear. A worker was exposed to toxic copper dust while manufacturing musical instruments. In another case, a woman pointed to her exposure to toxic chemicals as a hairstylist when pinpointing why she fell ill.

What prognosis do workers who suffer toxic exposure have?

The UN’s research shows that 2.8 million workers die from unsafe or unhealthy work environments every year. Lung cancer is one of the leading occupational diseases. Many patients who suffer from this condition contracted it from inhaling toxic chemicals in the workplace. UN researchers estimate that these risk factors account for an estimated 86% of individuals’ premature deaths.

There are more than 200 chemicals or substances commonly found in workplaces that are known carcinogens. Some cause workers to suffer from fertility issues and neurological illnesses. Others result in debilitating lung diseases and workers’ premature deaths.

What can you do if your toxic exposure on the job results in your lung disease?

It may seem challenging to pinpoint the root cause of your medical condition. Medical teams have become increasingly good at taking your health, lifestyle and work history and making such determinations about the onset of your condition in recent years, though. An attorney may advise you of your eligibility for workers’ compensation and other benefits if you develop an occupational illness.