Everything that come in contact with us in our daily life is chemicals, cause we know there are many List of Chemicals Used in Everyday Life. Chemicals expose us when we eat, shower, even walk. The rabbit that hops in your garden, the green grass, all of them are chemicals. Besides, there’s also something called man-made chemicals, such as drugs, cosmetic, and many more. The amount of natural chemicals available is higher than the man-made ones. However, both can have a poisonous or hazardous effects, especially when an overexposure occurs even the List of Organic Chemicals
What actually makes chemicals hazardous? Is it unchangeable like, when a chemical is harmless it will always be harmless? Unluckily, it’s clearly false. Believe it or not, even H2O (water) that we drink almost every day can be poisonous to our body. How come? If you consume it in a high amount or dose, it can be poisonous.
Our body will react to hazardous chemicals through exposure. Meanwhile exposure occurs when people have contact with a chemical, either directly or through another substances contaminated with a chemical. For example, when you eat a contaminated pasta, the chemicals will contaminate your body as well since you’ve undigested it. Even when you just lick them, our taste buds’ nerves have already absorbed them, which means you have been contaminated. Most of all, in a laboratory, there are tons of chemicals which can cause severe damage to your body. How did that happen?
The different ways a person can come into contact with hazardous chemicals are called exposure pathways. There are three basic exposure pathways ;
- Inhalation, inhaling contaminated air into the lungs is one of the most common way for chemicals exposure and it usually cause dizziness, red and watery eyes, headache, and so on.
- Ingestion, taking something in by mouth, like swallowing.
- Skin contact, when something comes in direct contact with the skin. It might be because of accidental splashes while pouring the chemicals, spills while carrying the containers, maybe even skin contact with a contaminated surface.
Factors that Affect the effects
Chemical hazards and toxic substances pose a wide range of health hazards (such as irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion, and explosibility). The type of damage that those chemicals give depend on :
- Route of entry into the body,
- Amount or dose entering the body (usually the bigger the amount, the more dangerous it can be),
- Concentration and pH levels for acids and bases cases. The bigger the concentration, the bigger the damage it cause.
- Toxicity of the chemical.
- Individual differences. Chemicals can be more harmful to some people than to others. Like, for small children, it’s more dangerous than for adults because it affects their developing brain and nervous system. If two people work in a chemical industry and one of them smokes, the smoker is more likely to develop lung cancer than the non-smoker.
Types of Chemicals Effect
Before knowing the usual signs of overexposure to hazardous chemicals include, here are the types:
- Acute Toxicity
The harmful effects caused by one-time, sudden which appear immediately after high exposures are often called acute toxicity effects. They may be something minor, like throat irritation, but they can also be something serious like passing out.
- Chronic Toxicity
Harmful effects that are caused in repeated exposure situations, maybe even take years to show up are sometimes called chronic toxicity effects. They usually occurs by normal exposure for a long period of time and high intensity. For example, breathing cigarette’s smoke might just make you feel dizzy (acute effect), but inhaling them everyday for years can eventually cause lungs damage (chronic effect). Just like Harmful Chemicals in Vapor That May Kill You and Harmful Chemicals in Tattoo Ink
Signs of Overexposure
Here are the usual signs of overexposure to hazardous chemicals include:
- Dizziness and headache
Dizziness is a common signs when people are overexposure to chemicals, because when people inhaling chemicals odour, it will make our blood vessels bigger. When our brain vessels grow bigger it can leads to dizziness.
- Nausea and Vomiting
Methadone is an opioid medication. So it has side effects which also similar like other opioids medication, such as vomiting. Contact with metal fumes, solvents, paint vapors can also lead to nausea and vomiting.
- Coughing, sore throat, cancer (for respiratory tract)
Exposure with smoke, ozone, solvents, various dusts, vapors, metal fumes, and fumes from paint and cleaners can affect our respiratory track, from our nose, throat, and lungs. The signs that indicate when we’re exposed to them are dryness in the throat, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, and even cancer.
So, inhaling too much carbon monoxide from vehicle is not good for our health. That’s also why smoking is absolutely bad for us. Since we know that cigarettes contain a lot of dangerous chemicals.
- Itchiness & skin redness
Are you a housewife? Or maybe you’re the person at home who do chores regularly? Some of you must have experienced skin dryness, itchiness, redness, at least once, is that true? The main suspects for that are detergents and cleaners, or you can say the chemicals that they contained. Beside detergents, there are few other chemicals that cause skin irritation such as solvents, chromium, nickel, and paint on skin. That’s why, there are some List of Chemicals and Hazardous materials Banned and Restricted in UAE
Acids and basis are some of the hazardous chemicals that we use in many experiments in the laboratory. But aside from their usages, we still have to pay attention to precautions while working with those corrosive compounds, no matter how high or low their pH level are.
In most cases, corrosives could damage parts of our body such as the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. Most acids produce immediate effect on the parts of our body that’s being exposed to them. Meanwhile bases produce more severe damage due to a delay in pain which gives the bases longer time to penetrate. The effect of bases exposure will feel slippery at first , and are harder to remove than acids.
They way corrosive hazardous to our body is that corrosives can burn and destroy body tissue when an exposure occurs. As for the eyes, corrosive materials can irritate, or even worse, burn the eyes. It might results in scars or permanent blindness. If you breath in corrosive vapours, it will irritates and burns the inner lining of the nose, throat, windpipe, and lungs.
This can be fatal as it results in pulmonary edema. Don’t even think about swallowing corrosive materials, as they can cause a serious effect such as burning our mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach all the way. Moreover, it might just be the last day you have the ability to swallow.
That’s why, we all need to be well-informed and be careful while working with chemicals. We can never avoid contact to chemicals in our daily life, but we can try to avoid accident.