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Tip #6: Workplace Toxins

Carcinogen: A chemical that causes or potentially causes cancer (e.g.asbestos,formaldehyde)

Today, almost every business uses chemicals.Even in the cleanest, most modern office,employees are exposed routinely to inks, toners and adhesives not to mention a wide range of materials used in cleaning and maintenance. Exposure to chemicals in the workplace can cause many different types of harm, ranging from mild irritations to cancer.

Some common examples of the effects of hazardous chemicals include: Skin irritation, dermatitis or skin cancer from frequent contact with oils.
Source:  Health & Safety Authority

Cancers associated with various occupations or occupational exposures

Arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, coke oven fumes, chromium compounds, coal gasiication, nickel reining, foundry substances, radon, soot, tars, oils, silica

Bladder Aluminum production, rubber industry, leather industry, 4-aminobiphenyl, benzidine Nasal cavity and Sinuses Formaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol manufacture, mustard gas, nickel reining, leather dust, wood dust
Larynx Asbestos, isopropyl alcohol, mustard gas
Pharynx Formaldehyde, mustard gas

Mesothelioma Asbestos
Lymphatic and hematopoietic Benzene, ethylene oxide, herbicides, x-radiation system

Skin Arsenic, coal tars, mineral oils, sunlight

Soft-tissue sarcoma Chlorophenols, chlorophenoxyl herbicides

Liver Arsenic, vinyl chloride

Lip Sunlight

International Agency for Research on Cancer.

What are the health hazards of exposure to asbestos?

Source: National Cancer Institute

People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems.

Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) . According to IARC, there is sufficient evidence that asbestos causes mesothelioma (a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen), and cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovary. Although rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. There is limited evidence that asbestos exposure is linked to increased risks of cancers of the stomach, pharynx, and colorectum.

Cancer Prevention

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