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What All Iowa Workers Should Know About Exposure to Toxic Substances

The potentially toxic substances present in various workplaces differ by industry, but regardless of your job it is important to know what kinds of substances can create health problems, what kind of health problems can result from these substances, and what to do if you’ve been injured at work.

Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers encourage anyone hurt in an Iowa workplace to understand common causes of workplace injuries and to take the necessary steps to protect their rights after an injury.

Types of Toxins

The different toxins present in U.S. workplaces are too numerous to list, but may include:

  • Asbestos. While there are now strict regulations regarding asbestos use, it is still present in the insulation, paint, and construction materials of older buildings and can make workers very sick.
  • Lead. Lead is found in older paint and other building materials and is a danger for workers.
  • Chemicals. Chemicals, including pesticides, flame retardant chemicals, and dioxins, may enter the air from dust, smoke, and construction and they may create serious health risks for workers.
  • Formaldehyde. This chemical can be present as a colorless, flammable gas or liquid. It is a component of industrial glues, solvents, paint products, preservatives, and wood products. Exposure can result in significant medical problems for workers.

Employers must comply with federal and state regulations about chemicals and toxic substances. These regulations include requirements about worker education and notification.

Injuries From Toxic Substances

Even when employers comply with all applicable regulations and workers take all reasonable precautions, an injury may occur. Some injuries which may occur include:

  • Irritation to the eyes, nose, throat or lungs.
  • Cancer.
  • Respiratory difficulties.
  • Blood poisoning.
  • Internal organ damage.
  • Neurological problems.
  • Hormonal problems.
  • Autoimmune disease.
  • Cardiovascular conditions.
  • Reproductive problems.

Additionally, workers are at risk of injury from fires and explosions which can occur because of some chemicals and toxic substances.

Each injury is unique and your injury should be diagnosed by a doctor.

What to Do If You’re Hurt at Work

Regardless of the injury that you’ve suffered, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Additionally, you should talk to an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation lawyer about your rights and about how to protect the fair recovery of benefits that you deserve. To learn more, please contact us at any time—24/7/365—for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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