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Effects of skin contact with chemicals; what a worker should know
  • Published Date:
    August 2011
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Effects of skin contact with chemicals; what a worker should know
Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Description:
    Introduction -- Questions to ask yourself -- The function of your skin -- Impact of chemical exposure on skin -- Types of adverse effects -- What do you need to know? -- For information and help with your concerns -- Remember: S - K - I - N

    "More than 13 million workers in the United States have jobs that result in exposure of the skin to chemicals, such as in these fields: 1. Agriculture 2.Manufacturing 3.Services 4.Transportation/Utilities 5.Construction 6.Sales. Skin problems/diseases are the most common noninjury health issue reported by workers. The costs of work-related skin problems in the United States exceed $1 billion each year. Take action to reduce or control your exposure: MODIFY: Modify a process to eliminate chemical exposure. For example, rather than hand-cleaning metal parts during repair operations, use a mechanical cleaner. Modify work practices to reduce or eliminate skin contact with chemicals. For example, rather than applying a solvent with a rag, use a brush. VENTILATE: Reduce airborne exposures by adding local or general ventilation. For example, use ventilation during spray-painting operations to reduce airborne levels of isocyanates. MAINTAIN SKIN: Clean skin with mild soap, rinse thoroughly, and use moisturizer. Dry skin is damaged and more affected by chemicals. CLEAN UP: A clean work area helps prevent contact with chemicals on work surfaces. PPE: Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when exposure to chemicals is unavoidable. PPE may include chemical-resistant gloves, aprons, coveralls, and boots. For example, use appropriate gloves when mixing epoxy resin, to avoid skin contact. Selection of the correct PPE is critical. Check a source such as the "Quick Selection Guide to Chemical Protective Clothing." -- NIOSHTIC-2

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