Chemicals are a major part of our everyday life at both home & work. Examples of chemicals you may use at home and on school grounds include gasoline, paints, fertilizers, lawn chemicals, bug spray, paint strippers, bleach and other household cleaners.
Chemical exposure can occur 4 different ways:
Inhalation: breathing in dusts, mists and vapors
Ingestion: eating contaminated food (food that has been exposed to airborne contaminants)
Absorption: skin contact with a chemical
Injection: forcing an agent into the body through a needle or high-pressure device
You can protect yourself against chemical hazards by:
• Reading container labels, material safety data sheets (SDSs) and safe-work instructions before you handle a chemical
• Using specified personal protective equipment (PPE) that may include chemical-splash goggles, a respirator, safety gloves, apron, steel-toed shoes or safety glasses with side shields.
• Inspect all PPE before use. Look for defects in the equipment, such as cracks, missing parts, rips, etc.
• Know where the safety showers and eye wash stations are located and how to use them
• Wash your hands before eating, especially after handling chemicals
• Leave contaminated clothing at work to eliminate the possibility of exposing your family to the hazards