Hexavalent Chromium Exposure in the Workplace
Individuals who work at plants and factories may be at risk for hexavalent chromium exposure. This is a dangerous chemical that can come in the form of dust, mist, or fumes. Individuals can suffer from exposure if they inhale the fume or if the dust settles on their skin or eyes. The OSHA says that Hexavalent Chromium is a toxic element of chromium that can cause serious injuries. The chemical is man-made and is used widely in a variety of different industries.
Most often, workers will find hexavalent chromium in chromate pigments that are in dyes, paints, inks and plastics. Sometimes the compounds can also be found in anti-corrosive agents and chrome plating. In addition, the fume can be present in places where workers are welding stainless steel or nonferrous chromium allows. It also comes up as an impurity in Portland cement.
If you are exposed to hexavalent chromium, you may suffer lung cancer in the future. Also, workers have reported damage to the nose, throat, and lungs when the fumes are inhaled at high levels of exposure. If the chemical touches the eyes or skin then it can cause irritation. The most serious effect of hexavalent chromium exposure is naturally lung cancer. This cancer often doesn’t show up until later. Some people may even forget that they were once exposed to hexavalent chromium at high levels, and may bypass a legitimate lawsuit to gain compensation for medical bills.
If you work with chromate pigments and powders, chromic acid, or chromium catalysts dyes and coatings on a regular basis, you are at risk to hexavalent chromium exposure. Also, workers who are near chrome electroplating or spend their time welding and hot working stainless steel are also at risk. If you believe that hexavalent chromium exposure led to your current injuries then talk to a New York City personal injury attorney at Greenberg & Stein for assistance in your case!