To understand what constitutes a health hazard, we need to know what makes something dangerous. The following article provides an overview of the different types of health hazards. Listed below are a few of the most common examples. These hazards have various effects on humans and can be classified into systemic or localized. To avoid potential health risks, companies should conduct tests to determine which ones are the most dangerous and how they can control them.
A health hazard is a chemical or substance that may be harmful to human health. It may be flammable, explosive, or toxic. It may cause severe eye damage, skin corrosion, respiratory sensitization, or reproductive toxicity. It may also cause gastrointestinal or reproductive harm, or damage to organs or the lungs. Depending on the level of exposure, a health hazard may cause acute or chronic effects.
There are several reference books available on the subject. The Dictionary of Toxicology, edited by Robert A. Lewis, is a great place to start. The ACGIH also publishes Documentation of Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices. Among the other textbooks for chemical safety, there is a Handbook of Chemical Health and Safety by Robert Alaimo and Charles J. O’Connor. In addition, a guide to Hazard Communication and OSHA requirements is published by Philip Wexler and edited by Richard A. Aguiar.
Chemicals with hazardous designation must undergo hazard evaluations. This type of evaluation is required for employers who manufacture or distribute hazardous chemicals. Hazard determination procedures must be documented in writing and distributed to workers, designated representatives, and to government agencies. In addition, hazard evaluations of chemicals that have no hazardous status may be more involved and require a more comprehensive search. However, it is important to note that not all hazards can be assessed as hazardous, due to their chemical form.
In addition to chemical and physical hazards, exposure to environmental toxins can cause allergic reactions. Exposure to chemical fumes can cause dermatitis. Depending on the chemical, it can cause allergic reactions, birth defects, and even cancer. Several years of exposure to some chemicals can cause cirrhosis of the liver. Acute effects may be delayed, while the chronic effects can be severe. However, there is no way to completely avoid exposures to a health hazard.
Some substances have a high explosive potential. For example, sodium and potassium react with water to produce hydrogen, which is an explosive hazard. Carbides may generate acetylene or cyanide when exposed to water. Inorganic salts containing cyanide also present an explosive hazard. These substances must be properly stored to avoid accidents. A person whose exposure to such substances is potentially dangerous should avoid it at all costs.
A health hazard can be determined by identifying the chemicals involved in a workplace. A chemical’s name is also useful for hazard evaluation. The TLV-Skin indicates that skin absorption may be significant. Exposures to a health hazard may be chronic or acute. Chronic toxicity occurs as a result of repeated exposures over a long period of time. Occupational exposure limits are legally enforced by OSHA. These limits are expressed in milligrams of material per kilogram of body weight.