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Toxic exposure in the workplace can cause a variety of problems

Every day in the United States, workers are exposed to toxins in the workplace. While some workers are aware of this and take the steps to avoid direct exposure, others are not as lucky.

Regardless of your position, industry, location, or employer, you have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. If toxins or hazardous chemicals are present, your company is required to provide information with respect to the danger.

Note: You can also learn more about toxins in the workplace by looking for warning signs, such as labels on certain materials.

If you find that toxins are present, there are steps you can take to reduce or eliminate your exposure. Subsequently, you improve your chance of avoiding an illness or injury. Some of the things you can do include:

-- Ventilation. Proper ventilation can help lessen the chance of exposure.

-- Substitution. The risk of illness related to a toxin can be reduced by replacing the material, equipment, or process with one that is safer.

-- Protective equipment. If you work around toxic material, it is imperative to wear the necessary equipment at all times. This can include but is not limited to a mask, ventilator, and/or protective clothing.

Toxic exposure in the workplace remains a major problem. Even when people know they are working in dangerous conditions, it does not mean they expect to have their health negatively impacted.

If people become ill due to exposure, they should immediately receive medical attention. From there, they can learn more about the cause and their rights as an employee.

Source: FindLaw, "Toxic Exposure in the Workplace," accessed Aug. 11, 2015

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