Meth Lab Cleanup >> Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making

The purpose of this chapter is to provide guidance to OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) and to the industrial hygiene community on the potential for skin exposure to chemicals Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making in the workplace and the available means of assessing the extent of skin exposure. Skin exposure to chemicals in the workplace is a significant problem in the United States (U.S.).
 Both the number of cases and the rate of skin diseases in the U.S. exceed recordable respiratory illnesses. In 2006, 41,400 recordable skin diseases were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at a rate Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making of 4.5 injuries per 10,000 employees, compared to 17,700 respiratory illnesses with a rate of 1.9 illnesses per 10,000 employees.1In addition to causing skin diseases, many chemicals that are readily absorbed through the skin can cause other health effects and contribute to the dose absorbed by inhalation of the chemical from the air.
 Skin absorption can occur without being noticed by the employee and in some instances may be a more significant route of exposure than Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making the respiratory system. This is particularly true for non-volatile chemicals that are hazardous and which remain on work surfaces for long periods of time.
The number of occupational illnesses caused by skin absorption of chemicals is not known. It is, however, argued that of an estimated 60,000 deaths and 860,000 occupational illnesses per year in Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making the U.S. attributed to occupational exposure, even a relatively small percentage caused by skin exposure would represent a significant health risk.
Skin contact with chemicals can result in irritation, allergic response, chemical burns, and allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making dermatitis may be caused by a variety of substances such as strong acids and bases. Some examples of chemicals which are potent irritants include: ammonia, hydrogen chloride, and sodium hydroxide. Generally, primary irritants produce redness of the skin shortly after exposure with the extent of damage to the tissue being related to the relative irritant properties of the chemical.
 In most instances, the symptoms of primary irritation are observed shortly after exposure; however, some chemicals produce a delayed irritant effect because the chemicals are absorbed through the Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making skin and then undergo decomposition with aqueous portions of the skin to produce primary irritants. Ethylene oxide, epichlorohydrin, hydroxylamines, and the chemical mustard agent (bis(2-chloroethylsulfide)) are classic examples of chemicals which must first decompose in the aqueous layers of the skin to produce irritation.
Allergic contact dermatitis, unlike primary irritation, is caused by chemicals which sensitize the skin. This condition is usually caused by repeated exposure of the skin to a relatively low concentration chemical which ultimately results in an irritant response. Frequently, Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making the sensitized area of skin is well defined, providing an indication of the area of the skin which has been in contact with the sensitizing material.A wide variety of both organic and inorganic chemicals can produce contact dermatitis.
 Some examples of these chemicals include: aromatic nitro compounds (e.g., 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene), diphenols (e.g., hydroquinone, resorcinol), hydrazines and phenylhydrazines, piperazines, Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making acrylates, aldehydes, aliphatic and aromatic amines, epoxy resins, many other organic chemicals, and metals (e.g., hexavalent chromium). These substances can also produce contact sensitization. Allergic contact dermatitis is present in virtually every industry, including agriculture, chemical manufacturing, rubber industry, wood, painting, bakeries, pulp and paper mills, and many others.
Lastly, there is a class of chemicals which can produce allergic reactions on the skin after exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) light. These chemicals are called photosensitizers. Polynuclear aromatic compounds from coke ovens and the petroleum-based tars are examples of chemicals which can be photoactivated on the skin to cause an irritant Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making response.A. Skin Absorption In addition to the effects that chemicals can directly have on the skin, the skin also acts as a pathway for chemicals to be absorbed into the body. The skin primarily consists of two layers - the epidermis and the dermis.
 The outer layer of the epidermis is composed of a compacted layer of dead epidermal cells called the stratum corneum which is approximately 10 − 40 micrometers thick. The stratum corneum is the Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making primary barrier for protection against chemical penetration into the body. Its chemical composition is approximately 40% protein, 40% water, and 20% lipid or fat. Because skin cells are constantly being produced by the body, the stratum corneum is replaced by the body approximately every two weeks.
 Chemical absorption through the stratum corneum occurs by a passive process in which the chemical diffuses through this dead skin barrier. Estimates of the amount of chemicals absorbed through the skin as discussed below assume that the chemicals passively Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making diffuse through this dead skin barrier and are then carried into the body by the blood flow supplied to the dermis. A number of conditions can affect the rate at which chemicals penetrate the skin. Physically damaged skin or skin damaged from chemical irritation or sensitization will generally absorb chemicals at a much greater rate than intact skin.
 Organic solvents which defat the skin and damage the stratum corneum may also result in an enhanced rate of chemical absorption. If a chemical breakthrough occurs while wearing gloves or other protective clothing, the substance becomes trapped against the skin, leading Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making to a much higher rate of permeability than with uncovered skin. An employee who wears a glove for an extended period of time experiences enhanced hydration to the skin simply because of the normal moisture which becomes trapped underneath the glove.
Under these conditions, chemical breakthrough or a pinhole leak in a glove can result in greater chemical absorption due to increased Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making friction, contact time with the substance and increased temperature resulting in a higher overall absorption through the skin. In another example, an employee may remove a glove to perform a task which requires increased dexterity, exposing the skin to additional chemical exposure even after redonning the glov
The absorption of chemicals through the skin can have a systemic toxic effect on the body. In many instances dermal exposure is the principal route of exposure, especially for chemicals which are relatively non-volatile. For example, biological monitoring results of coke oven workers coupled with air monitoring of the Criminal Laws For Methamphetamine Usage And Making employees’ exposure demonstrated that 51% of the average total dose of benzo[a]pyrene absorbed by coke oven workers occurred via skin contact.3 Studies of employees in the rubber industry suggest that exposure to genotoxic chemicals present in the workplace is greater via the skin than via the lung.4

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