While hazardous waste presents a danger to the environment and any wildlife, it also presents significant dangers to human health. Any exposure to hazardous materials is bad. Long periods of exposure have resulted in some of the worst health effects imaginable. Learn about the health symptoms from hazardous waste exposure by reading below.
Exposure to hazardous material can have an extremely negative affected on your lungs. Generally, this happens from breathing in the material when it’s in the form of gas. Waste emissions and air pollution will cause or enhance conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and bronchoconstriction. If you’re frequently exposed to aerosols, you are at greater risk of infections including tuberculosis, influenza, and pneumonia. While working around any hazardous materials, you should be wearing proper protection, such as a respirator for protection.
Unfortunately, a majority of hazardous waste is carcinogenic, which means it’s proven to cause cancer. Carcinogens are substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue. Although there are many, materials such as benzene, asbestos, pesticides, and arsenic are some of the most common carcinogens found in hazardous waste. Avoiding exposure to these materials, especially in large amounts, is key to preventing a high risk of cancer in your future.
Not protecting yourself from hazardous waste exposure can also raise your risk of heart disease. In those who have been overly exposed in their careers, higher numbers of stroke and heart attacks have been seen. Furthermore, mothers exposed to such substances risk their babies being born with congenital heart disease. Those pregnant should always be wary of any agricultural pesticides, solvents, metals, and landfills that could be nearby.
Acute Health Problems
All health symptoms from hazardous waste exposure are not always the deadly kind. There are many acute health problems that will develop from overexposure. And while these may not be deadly, they are a sign of exposure which could lead to worse complications in the future. Symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and stomach discomfort are all common signs of hazardous waste exposure. This is why it’s vital to use proper hazardous waste labeling and marking on your worksite if you produce such material. Employees need to know ahead of time what they’re dealing with, so they can use proper protection and know the risks.
Infants have been found to be born with serious birth defects when the mother has had some form of exposure. Depending on the amount of exposure, the severity of the defects can vary. They range from heart and blood vessel defects to abnormalities such as spina bifida, cleft palate, and hypospadias. Damage to reproductive abilities can also come as a result of exposure to hazardous material.
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