Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: Chemical Carcinogens Cause Cancer in Employees
Occupational exposure to carcinogens is a health hazard in a wide range of industries. Contact to even small amounts of carcinogens increases one’s susceptibility to cancer.
“Employees are exposed to thousands of chemicals in the workplace,” explains Gary R. Ticker, CIH, CSP, of OccuSafe, Inc, “Over time contact with these chemicals can lead to injury or death.”
As per OSHA requirements, employers must inventory the hazardous materials in their workplace. They must also determine if carcinogens are present. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) describe potential health effects including cancers of a specific mixture, material, or chemical, and list controls that can be put in place to protect workers. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health provides further information for employers. Once it has been found that potentially cancer-causing materials are present, substitute less hazardous chemicals. If that is not feasible, then testing should be initiated to determine if any exposure standard is exceeded.
“If standards for carcinogens are surpassed, employers must take immediate action to limit exposure,” explains Ticker, “I recommend initiating controls such as ventilation and the use of respirators and other personal protective equipment.
OccuSafe Environmental and Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
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