The Most Common Occupations With High Toxin Exposure

The Most Common Occupations with High Toxin Exposure


The silent killers or professions that subject employees to poisons daily are frequently overlooked. It can take decades for these poisons, carcinogens, neurotoxins, and the like to manifest. People who worked in diverse industries forty years ago may only be seeing the effects of their exposure to particular pollutants today.

Here are the most common jobs with high toxin exposure you might not be aware of:

1. Rubber Manufacturers

These workers often come into contact with dangerous chemicals and solvents during their jobs, which can cause serious health problems if proper safety measures are not taken. They may be exposed to hazardous chemicals such as benzene, acrylonitrile, butadiene, naphthalene, and ethylene oxide. Exposure to these substances can lead to various medical problems, including skin irritation and burns, respiratory illnesses, and even cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bladder, stomach, and lung cancer have been linked to “excess mortality” in multiple studies. The American Cancer Society also states that leukemia and lymphoma are now on the list, placing employment in the rubber business among the most deadly.

2. Nail Salon Employees

An old French saying asserts, “You must suffer to be beautiful.” In the nail salon industry, the opposite is true. Health risks and poisons are carried by those who help others improve their appearance, not vice versa. 

The following list of substances used in nail treatment is disturbing: Dibutyl Phthalate, which is in nail polish. Formaldehyde and methylene glycol are also in nail polish and hardeners, toluene is in nail glue, and Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is in artificial nails.

These chemicals produce short-term symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, eye, and skin irritation, breathing difficulties, coughing, wheezing, headaches, and confusion. 

Over time, they can cause malformations at birth, cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, asthma, loss of smell, and miscarriages.

3. Mining 

 Their environments expose them to various hazardous materials, including silica, dust, fumes, vapors, and combustible gas. These hazardous materials can cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma, COPD, silicosis, skin irritation, eye damage, and cancer.

Unfortunately, many miners do not have access to protective respiratory equipment that could reduce their exposure to toxins. As a result, many miners suffer from poor health due to exposure to these hazardous materials. Even miners who use protective equipment may still be exposed to potentially dangerous toxins, especially if the equipment does not fit properly.

4. Welding

 Welders are exposed to a wide range of toxic substances and are at risk for various health concerns due to their exposure.

The most common toxins welders are exposed to come from shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) processes. The SMAW process releases harmful chemicals such as zinc oxide, lead fumes, carbon monoxide, and other metallic particles that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin upon contact.

The GTAW process involves using gases such as argon, helium, and carbon dioxide, which also release toxins into the air. In addition to these toxic chemicals, welders may also be exposed to airborne metal fumes, radiation, and ultraviolet rays. 

Wrapping Up

Awareness of the various occupations associated with high toxin exposure is essential. Not only do workers need to be aware of their environment, but employers must also ensure that proper safety protocols are followed to protect employees from these health risks. With more information on this topic and the available resources, workers and employers can work together to minimize the risk of dangerous exposures and maintain a safe working environment.

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