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Common Toxic Vapors: Understanding and Treating Ensures Safety

Indoor air pollution and dangerous indoor environments can come from a number of sources. Many industrial machines and factors can release vapors and other substances that contribute to poor indoor air quality, the results of which can be anything from mildly toxic to deadly.

According to the EPA, “health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later,”* and can lead to respiratory diseases, cancer, skin infections, and more. Needless to say, proper air filtration and fume extraction is crucial, and protecting workers from potential harm should be a top priority.

Below is a list of some of the common vapors that people can come into contact with, along with their effects:

  • Acetic Acid: Deemed mildly toxic, this can cause burns and severe skin and eye irritation.
  • Benzene: Exposure can lead to central nervous system depression, and has been linked to leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoid tumors.
  • Chloroform: Exposure is linked to renal and cardiac damage, delirium, coma, and even death.
  • Cyclohexane: Symptoms of exposure include dizziness, nausea, and unconsciousness, as well as irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes.
  • Ethyl Alcohol: Symptoms range from eye irritation and headaches to central nervous system depression and liver tumors.
  • Formaldehyde: Deemed a confirmed carcinogen, inhalation or skin contact damages the pulmonary and respiratory systems; considered the most common cause of occupational skin disease.
  • Methyl Alcohol: Effects include respiratory depression, corneal lesions, metabolic acidosis, and abnormalities in both the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system.
  •  Methyl Methacrylate: A mildly toxic, common air pollutant, when inhaled symptoms include lowered blood pressure, sleep disturbance, appetite loss, and skin and eye irritation.
  • Trichloroethylene: Mild symptoms include dizziness, lethargy, visual impairment, and light-headedness, while cardiac arrest has been known to occur.

This is just a sample of the many chemicals and substances industrial workers can be exposed to, and is by no means comprehensive. However, our systems are built to capture and/or treat most of these chemicals, and therefore, safety can be assured. Our staff is knowledgeable in all matters of fume extraction and air quality solutions, and is happy to answer questions and direct you to the right choice. Contact us with any questions.

*http://www.epa.gov/iaq/ia-intro.html