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Mixing chemicals can produce a toxic solution

If you mix chemicals in the workplace -- or if someone else does -- you could be exposed to toxic vapors and dangerous solutions. These can cause serious injuries and even death.

Thinking that you don't work in a chemical lab or a research center, so you don't need to worry? Some of the most dangerous combinations are made with everyday products that you can buy at the store, so they could be present in almost any workplace.

For example, a worker could be asked to pour some drain cleaner into a clogged warehouse drain. He or she may pour it in, see no effect, and decide to pour in some more. However, the only option may be to use a different kind. Some experts warn that mixing two drain cleaners can cause an explosion.

Or, perhaps a worker is asked to clean some dirty windows in the workplace. He or she is given a standard window cleaner, but it doesn't get the job done. The worker decides to throw in some bleach to make it more powerful.

The problem is that window cleaners often use ammonia. When it's combined with bleach, the two make chloramine. It is toxic and can be deadly. Symptoms of breathing in the vapors it puts off include chest pain and respiratory trouble.

Mixing all three chemicals can be even worse. One man wanted to clean his toilet and he mixed Drano, bleach and ammonia, producing vapors that killed him.

As you can see, the risk of toxic exposure is always there, even with everyday chemicals. If you're injured or a loved one passes away, you must know what rights you have to workers' compensation.

Source: Good Housekeeping, "Cleaning Products You Should NEVER Mix," Lisa Freedman, accessed March 02, 2017

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