How do you detect gas exposure?

As a worker in Missouri, your health should be one of your top priorities. Unfortunately, even safe workspaces can have freak accidents that make it dangerous for you. For this reason, you should be aware of the signs of toxic or chemical gas exposure, in case a leak occurs in your place of employment.

The first thing to note is that exposure to toxic gases does not always manifest in symptoms immediately. In fact, the Merck Manual states that certain types of gases can have an effect that is delayed as much as 12 hours after your initial exposure to the toxin. This will typically be seen in exposure to less soluble gases, like ozone or nitrogen dioxide. The symptoms that do follow usually include shortness of breath which can range for moderate to severe. Wheezing and shortness of breath can occur chronically as well, if you are exposed to the gas over a long period of time.

As for more soluble gases like ammonia and chlorine, the potential signs are more immediately noticeable. It can include burning in the eyes, nose, lungs or throat just a few minutes after exposure. You may also have difficulty breathing and experience dizziness or nausea and vomiting. Additional symptoms can include coughing up blood, or a severe cough without blood.

Exposure to toxic gases can happen anywhere, even if you do not work with chemicals specifically. Being alert and aware of these potential symptoms and acting quickly if any make themselves known can allow you to receive faster treatment, lowering your chances of more permanent damage.


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