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Toxic chemicals can enter your body a number of ways

Too many workers in Wisconsin continue to be exposed to toxic substances every day. Sometimes, people who are suffering the effects of exposure to a dangerous chemical don't link their symptoms to their workplace.

That's why it's essential to understand that toxic substances can enter your system in a number of ways:

-- Swallowing or ingestion. Obviously, no one's going to intentionally ingest a toxic chemical. However, if traces of it are on your hands and are then transferred onto something you eat or drink, you could suffer harm.

-- Penetration through the skin. This can happen if you have a cut or any kind of skin puncture.

-- Skin absorption. Some chemicals, particularly in liquid form, can penetrate the skin without an open cut.

-- Eye contact. Rubbing your eyes with your hand or against your sleeve can bring toxic chemicals into your eyes.

-- Inhalation. This can be particularly dangerous, because toxic chemicals that are breathed in travel not only to the lungs, but to other organs and through the bloodstream. These chemicals can be found in fumes, mists, vapors and even dust.

The effects of some toxic exposure, such as skin irritation, are generally short-term and disappear once a person is no longer exposed. However, others can cause lasting organ damage, chronic conditions and serious diseases like cancer.

Employers have an obligation to educate their workers on the dangers of exposure to toxic substances and to minimize their exposure as much as possible. If you or a loved one is suffering from a medical condition that you believe was caused by toxic exposure in the workplace, it's essential to get verification of that from medical professionals. An experienced Wisconsin workers' compensation attorney can provide guidance to help you make your case and get the compensation you deserve.

Source: Safety.BLR, "Four Ways Chemicals Can Get Into Your Body," accessed Jan. 30, 2017

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