How to Quickly Identify the Health Effects of Chemical Exposure

The phrase “chemical exposure” carries strong connotations, as many substances are toxic to living organisms, and especially to humans. Of course, people are exposed daily to an endless array of differing chemicals. Some are airborne, others are in our water and food supplies, and still, others are silently waiting to somehow be absorbed through the skin.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) states, You come into contact with chemicals every day, but that does not necessarily mean that you will get sick.” (Italics added for emphasis.)

The above quote can be read another way.

Humanity faces chemical exposure every day, and there is potential for injury, sickness, and death. While the human body has a good defense system, it is unable to rid itself of many harmful substances.

ToxPlanet products provide the most up-to-date and accurate information concerning chemicals and hazard management to mitigate toxic chemical exposure and pollution. Meanwhile, it is still important for people to know how to quickly identify the health effects of chemical exposure.

Chemical Exposure and Inhalation

Toxic chemical exposure through the lungs is quite common and extremely serious. According to the medical experts at the Merck Sharp, and Dohme Corporation, immediate symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Severe burning in the upper respiratory tract and eyes
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood in the sputum (hemoptysis)
  • Retching
  • Asphyxia

Other delayed or long-term effects can include

  • Bronchiolitis (small airway inflammation)
  • Pneumonia
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
  • Bacterial infection

Chemical Exposure and Ingestion

With the rise of the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and other environmental pollutants, people are inevitably ingesting varying amounts of toxic chemicals. Children are more at risk for ingesting toxic chemicals as they are more apt to put their hands and foreign objects in their mouths. According to the experts at the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, some of the most tell-tale signs of ingested chemical exposure are:

  • Burns around the mouth
  • Breath that smells of chemicals such as cleaners or gasoline
  • Vomiting
  • Labored breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Seizure

Immediately call 911 if a victim displays any of these symptoms. If you have any other questions and the victim is stable and not exhibiting any of the above-listed symptoms, call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at (800) 222-1222. Also, if able, read the product label to determine what to do for the victim until help arrives.

Chemical Exposure and Dermal Exposure

Everyone is exposed to dangerous chemicals. According to the CDC, some of those who are specifically at risk work in food service, cosmetology, health care, agriculture, cleaning, painting, mechanics, printing/lithography, and construction. Dermal chemical exposure can happen by directly touching a contaminated surface, contacting aerosol droplets, immersion, and accidental splashes. Some symptoms of dermal toxic chemical exposure are:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Blisters
  • Dry, cracking skin

Important Facts to Consider

  • Any type of long-term toxic chemical exposure can lead to serious systemic injury and illness. Symptoms don’t always present immediately.
  • A quick response yields the best recovery prognosis.
  • The amount, type, duration, and frequency of chemical exposure have a dramatic effect on the severity of a person’s reaction.

How ToxPlanet Can Help

ToxPlanet knows that EHS professionals rely on the most current and accurate information available to ensure the safety of Earth and its inhabitants – us! The danger of toxic chemical exposure is reduced when people are informed.

Contact ToxPlanet today for a free two-week trial!