Environment

Toxic shockers

Toxicity refers to a substance or product’s ability to cause adverse health effects to human (or other organisms).

Some cleaning products contain substances that are toxic to humans. Their effects can be felt immediately or for days, months or years after exposure. Toxicity is acute when the effects are immediate and chronic when they appear after repeated exposure.

Toxic substances can damage a person’s health in several ways: exposure by inhalation, skin contact, swallowing or irritation to the eyes.

Once breathed in, some substances attack the nose, throat or lungs, whereas others enter the body through the lungs and wreak havoc with other organs such as the liver.

Skin can become contaminated by direct contact with the substance. Further risks are posed by airborne dust particles that land on the skin, or by contact with contaminated surfaces – such as inside protective gloves.

When people transfer chemicals from their hands to their mouths by eating or smoking without washing their hands, they risk exposure by swallowing, while some vapours, gases and dusts are irritating to eyes. Aquatic toxicity

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