Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, Jul 25, 2018

Over 1,500 people in 2017 have died because of cancer. Carcinogens are substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue. We are going to go over the top 10 most common carcinogens in the workplace.
View list of Carcinogens

1.) Asbestos - a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as brake linings.

Some Symptoms of asbestosis are shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in your lungs.

OSHA explains Asbestos

2.) Crystalline Silica - is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals

You could have respiratory failure within 2 years and also have difficulty breathing when exercising. You may also develope a cough.

OSHA explains Crystalline silica

3.) Benzene - is an important organic chemical compound with the chemical formula C6H6

Signs of Benzene poisoning may be drowsiness, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, headahces, and confusion.

OSHA explains Benzene

4.) Wood dust - Created during cutting and sanding of wood

Symptoms could be dermatitis and other allergic reactions. The respiratory effects of wood dust exposure include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and chronic bronchitis.

OSHA explains Wood dust

5.) Chromium - naturally occurring mineral that becomes carcinogenic when it is transformed into its hexavalent form through industrial processes such as stainless steel manufacturing and also through welding

Some symptoms are severe gastrointestinal irritation or ulcers, Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, Fever, Vertigo, Cramping of muscles, Intravascular hemolysis, Circulatory collapse, and Liver damage.

OSHA explains Chromium

6.) Nickel - is a silvery-white metallic element found in the earth’s crust. It can be combined with other elements to form nickel compounds. Used to make stainless steel. Also found in magnets, electrical contacts, batteries, spark plugs, and surgical/dental prostheses.

Some symptoms are rash or bumps on the skin, itching, which may be severe, redness, dry patches of skin that look like a burn, blisters and draining fluid in severe cases.

Nickel explained

7.) Formaldehyde - is a naturally occurring organic compound with the formula CH2O and is used in the manufacture of textiles, resins, wood products, and plastics.

Some symptoms are watery eyes, burning sensations of the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation.

OSHA explains Formaldehyde

8.) Ionizing radiation and radioactive elements - Emitted by X-rays, nuclear power plants & other nuclear sources.

Some symptoms are unusual bleeding or discharge, a lump that does not go away, a sore that does not heal within two weeks, change in bowel or bladder habits, persistent hoarseness or cough.

OSHA explains Ionizing radiation

9.) Cadmium - Used as pigments in plastics and coatings for electronics, steel and aluminum to prevent corrosion. Also found in battery production.

Some symptoms are cough, dryness and irritation of the nose and throat, headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, chills, and chest pain.

OSHA explains Cadmium

10.) Lead - Used in paints, pipes, and pipe solder.

Symptoms are abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, irritability, memory problems, inability to have children, and tingling in the hands and feet.

OSHA explains Lead

If you haven't read last week's post on Worker Fatigue, read it here.


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