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Working with chemicals? Be safe and know the facts

You work as a cleaner in a local business, and you've done this job for a long time. It must be over two decades that you've used chemical cleaners to wipe down counters, clean toilets and keep people healthy inside a facility that gets dirty almost as fast as you can clean it.

You have splashed yourself with bleach, breathed in harmful fumes and so much more, but you've always survived it. Unfortunately, you need to remember that you can see long-term health consequences when you regularly come into contact with cleaning solutions, especially at the industrial level.

Some cleaning solutions are more toxic than others

The reality is that not all chemicals are made the same, so some cleaning materials are going to be safer than others. For example, bleach might be acidic to the skin; vinegar can be, too. The difference is that bleach is more toxic than vinegar and could kill you if you drink it. The differences between the chemicals you use matter.

Another thing to remember is that not all people have the same sensitivities to chemicals. For instance, person A might not be able to be around aerosol cleaners without trouble breathing, while person B might have no problem at all. Repeated exposure may make both individuals unwell, even if it takes longer for person B to see the effects.

If you're going to work with chemicals, you need to take precautions every time

If you do plan to work with chemicals, you need to take precautions every time. Before you ever use a product, you need to look at the warning labels and pay attention to the instructions on what to do if you're exposed directly to the chemical. You should read the instructions for use and always follow those instructions to minimize the risk to yourself and those around you.

Always use proper ventilation when you're using chemicals by opening windows or doors. If you don't have windows or doors, using a fan or exhaust system may be of help.

Finally, always wear the appropriate protective gear when you handle chemicals. If you do, you'll be less likely to suffer from chemical burns or to be exposed to chemicals that could cause you harm in the long term.

Chemicals can be dangerous, but by knowing what you're working with and using personal protective equipment, you can be safer. Always understand the instructions and warnings before you use a chemical to stay safe.

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