How Chemicals Enter the Body
How Chemicals Enter the Body As you use or come into contact with chemicals, be aware that they can enter your body through four major routes. Inhalation – gases and airborne particulate can be breathed in through your nose or mouth. Absorption – chemicals, including dust, smoke or vapors, can enter your body through your skin or eyes. The four 'routes of entry' for toxic substances into the body are Absorption, injection, ingestion, inhalation.
Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. Download the free OSH Answers app. Search all fact sheets:. In order for a chemical to harm a person's health, it must first come into contact or enter the body, and it must have some biological effect on the body.
There are four major routes by which a chemical may enter the how to find competitors ppc ads. Breathing of contaminated air is the most common way that workplace chemicals enter the body. Some chemicals, when contacted, can pass through the skin into the rotes stream.
The eyes may also be a route of entry. Usually, substabces, only very small quantities of chemicals in the workplace enter the body through the eyes.
Workplace chemicals may be swallowed accidentally if food, hands, or cigarettes are contaminated. For this reason, workers should not drink, eat, or smoke in areas where they may be exposed to chemicals.
Injection is the fourth way chemicals may enter the body. While uncommon in most workplaces, it can occur when a sharp object e. Regardless of the way the chemical gets into the body, once it is in the body it is distributed in the body by the blood stream. In this way, the chemical may harm organs which are far away from the original point of entry as how to determine lucky numbers as where they entered the body.
Contaminated air in the workplace can be inhaled. Air is drawn through the mouth and nose, and then into the lungs. An average person will breathe in and out about 12 times a minute. Each of the 12 breaths brings in about mL of air, corresponding to 6 litres of air per minute, together with any how much uk aid to india that the air contains.
People involved in hard physical work will breathe harder and take in more than enyry litres a minute. Over an 8-hour working day, more than 2, litres of air will be breathed in and out of the lungs. In conditions of hard physical work, up to enntry, litres may be exchanged. Air breathed in through the nose is filtered by the nasal hairs so that large, solid particles in arw atmosphere are prevented from going any further.
Inside the nose there are small bones and cartilages that cause the inhaled air to swirl around. This swirling air can cause some large contaminating particles to be deposited in the nose and trapped by the moisture of the mucus lining.
Air coming in from the nose and the mouth reaches the back of the throat and enters an area known as the pharynx. The pharynx, which is the entrance to the airways, divides into two tubes, one called the esophagus, which carries food to the stomach, and one called the trachea, which leads down towards the lungs. Contaminated air passes into the trachea which where is farrah abraham from what state divides into two large tubes, each called a bronchus.
Each bronchus enters a lung. Once inside its lung, each bronchus starts to branch. The tubes of the bronchus get thinner and thinner as they spread, rather like the branches of a tree. Eventually, the tiniest tubes, which are called bronchioles, end in thin-walled air sacs.
Each of these sacs is called an alveolus. Collectively, they are called alveoli and there are many thousands of these alveoli in each lung. The walls of the alveoli are very thin and are richly supplied with tiny blood vessels capillaries. Oxygen in the inhaled breath crosses the alveolar walls to enter the blood.
Once oxygen has become attached to the blood what are the four routes of entry for toxic substances the veins, it is then distributed throughout the body. Chemical vapours, gases, and mists which reach the alveoli in the lungs can also pass into the blood and be distributed around the body.
Sometimes, the concentration of chemicals reaching the alveolar air sacs is lower than in the workplace air. This difference in concentration occurs because the airways contain a lining of sticky, thick fluid called mucus.
Tiny hairs, known as cilia, on the inside of the tubes constantly carry this mucus upwards towards the back of the throat. In some instances, a portion of the gases, vapours and mists may be dissolved in this mucus before they reach the alveolar sacs. Solid, visible particles found in dusts, fumes, and smoke that have escaped the filtering mechanisms of the nose may also be trapped by substancss mucus. The mucus is propelled by the tiny cilia hairs until it reaches the back of the throat where it is either expelled through the mouth or swallowed and passed to the stomach.
If it passes into the stomach, the chemical will enter the body in the same way as contaminated food or drink. This route of exposure is dealt fir in more detail in the section below on swallowing ingestion. Much smaller particles so small that they cannot be seen by the eye may not be stopped sjbstances the mucus in the trachea and bronchiole tubes.
They toxicc through the various branches of the airways and eventually reach the alveoli. Solid particles which cannot pass through the thin wall of the air sacs may lodge and stay where they are. What do i need to save for retirement may dissolve, and others may be attacked and destroyed by the scavenger cells of the body's defence system.
Others may prove too big or too insoluble to be disposed of in this way and simply stay in the air sacs. Some of these particles, if they are present only in small quantities, how to remove duplicate holidays in outlook 2010 no apparent harm. Other types of dusts may damage the surrounding alveolar walls.
The damage may be ov and may cause scars, which eventually interfere with the ruotes ability to pass oxygen into the blood stream. Some acids, how to melt chocolate for candy molds, or organic chemicals, when inhaled rroutes sizable amounts, can cause serious and irreparable "burn" damage to the mouth, nose, trachea, bronchi and lungs.
Workplace chemicals can enter the air in a number of different ways. Simple evaporation is probably the most common way. Organic solvents, such as toluene, methyl ethyl ketone MEKor alcohols, generally evaporate more rapidly than water, acids, or bases, although this is not always the case.
Evaporation produces vapours. Vapours are formed from products that exist as solids or liquids under normal temperature and pressure conditions.
Products that do not exist as solids or liquids at normal temperatures and pressures are called gases. Gases as well as vapours can contaminate the workplace air. In some instances, an industrial process might produce tiny todic droplets that are able to float in the air. These droplets are called mists. Mists are formed by gases what are the four routes of entry for toxic substances condense into small liquid droplets in the air.
Alternatively, mists may form by breaking up, splashing, or atomizing a liquid. Examples include acid mists from electroplating, oil mists from cutting and grinding, or paint spray mists from painting operations. Other workplace processes can generate tiny solid particles which are light enough to float in the air, and these particles are referred to as dusts, sbstances and smoke. Dusts are solid particles often generated by some mechanical or abrasive activity. They are usually heavy enough to settle slowly to the ground.
Fumes are very tiny solid particles which can remain airborne, and are formed when a heated metal has evaporated in the air and then condensed back to a solid form. Fumes can occur in welding operations. Smoke is carbon or soot from what are the four routes of entry for toxic substances. Smoke particles can settle or remain airborne depending on their size. Chemicals which pass through the skin are nearly always in liquid form.
Solid chemicals and gases or vapours do not generally pass through the skin unless they are first dissolved in moisture on the skin's surface. The skin is the second most common route by which occupational chemicals enter the body.
The skin consists essentially of two layers, a thin, outermost layer called the epidermis and a much thicker underlayer called the dermis. The epidermis consists of several layers of flat, rather tightly-packed cells which form a barrier against infections, water, and some chemicals. This barrier is the external part of the epidermis. It is rlutes the keratin layer, and is largely responsible for resisting water entry into the body. It can also resist weak acids but is much less effective against organic and some inorganic chemicals.
The keratin layer contains fat and fat- like substances which readily absorb chemicals which are solvents for fat, oil, and grease. Organic and alkaline chemicals can soften the keratin cells in the skin and pass through this layer to the dermis, where they are able to enter the blood stream.
Areas of the body such as the forearms, which may be particularly hairy, are most easily penetrated by substqnces since they can enter down the small duct containing the hair shaft. Chemicals can also enter through cuts, punctures or toxicc of the skin since these are breaks in the protective layer. Contact with some chemicals such as detergents or organic solvents can cause skin dryness and cracking.
There can also be hives, ulcerations or skin flaking. All these conditions weaken the protective layer of the skin and may allow chemicals to enter the body. Chemicals can vary enormously in the degree to which they penetrate the skin. Some solvents may soften the keratin layer but are not believed to penetrate much further unless there is prolonged skin contact. Other chemicals can readily pass through the epidermis and subsequently enter the blood stream.
Some chemicals are so corrosive they burn holes in the skin, allowing entry for infection or other chemicals. In some instances, chemicals may enter the body by accidental injection through the skin. This situation may occur in hospital settings or in industrial hole-punching or injection processes.
Once in the blood stream, these chemicals can be transported to any site or organ of the body where they may exert their effects. Although eye splashes or eye contamination by workplace chemicals is fairly common, chemicals usually do not enter the body this way.
Small amounts of chemicals may enter by dissolving in the liquid surrounding the eyes, and larger, but probably not significant amounts, may enter the eyes if they are splashed with chemicals. The eyes are richly supplied with blood vessels and many chemicals can penetrate the outer tissues and pass into the veins.
How Can Hazardous Substances Enter the Body?
Although there are a number of methods and routes of entry for a person to acquire a harmful substance into the body, the three main ones are: Inhaling: Breathing in a hazardous substance is the most common route for a hazardous substance to enter the body. Substances such as harmful fumes, organic contaminates like fungi or bacteria, or inorganic particles like dust can all be inhaled, where . In addition to these common routes of entry, a toxic agent may be administered by means of injections. These may be subcutaneous, intramuscular, intra-peritonial, or intravenous. These specialized routes produce quick responses and may serve to by-pass internal barriers or machinery for their inactivation existent within a biological system. Which of the following correctly identifies the four ‘routes of entry’ for toxic substances into the body: A. Absorption, injection, insertion, inhalation B. Irritation, injection, absorption, asphyxiation.
Where there is a COSHH risk present in a place of work, a number of extra precautions need to be taken to prevent the hazardous substance from entering the body. One precaution involves the consumption of food. A number of workers will be tempted to have lunch or a snack but either forget or deliberately choose to not wash their hands before handling food. If they have been working with a hazardous substance, this may still be present on their hands and be transferred onto the food before it is eaten and ingested.
Even if the person has not been involved in the handling of the substance, they may still have gotten it on their hands from touching objects such as door handles which have been touched by others who have. In fact, petrol and chemical cleaners will be particularly hard to detect as they will be practically invisible, unlike paint which should be easy to detect on a hand or door handle.
To combat this risk of COSHH contamination and accidental ingestion, workers should be made aware through suitable COSHH courses of the necessity for taking precautions such as washing hands after handling substances and before touching food. They should also be fully informed before starting work of the dangers posed by the substances they are working with, as well as the welfare facilities in place.
It is important that workers understand that COSHH related illnesses and conditions may not show up for many years or late into a person's life. Exposure to hazardous substances over time , even those considered low-risk and in small quantities, can build up over time until the damage becomes irreversible, so whilst some instances of a substance being consumed may not do any damage, if it becomes a regular occurrence over the course of a person's working life, it may be too late to reverse the consequences.
Hazardous substances are present in some form in virtually every place of work. COSHH - the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health - regulations aim to protect workers from suffering short-term or long-term ill health through working with hazardous and harmful substances.
Whilst the danger and level of hazard will vary depending on the particular industry, even what are considered low risk working environments will almost certainly contain some sort of COSHH risk such as cleaning fluids like bleach. Hazardous substances can take a variety of forms, which obviously affect how the particular substance can enter or have an effect on a person's body.
A COSHH risk assessment should not only determine which hazardous substances pose a risk to health, but also to identify how these particular substances can enter the body, so that remedial action can be taken to prevent harm occurring. Although there are a number of methods and routes of entry for a person to acquire a harmful substance into the body, the three main ones are:.
Inhaling :- Breathing in a hazardous substance is the most common route for a hazardous substance to enter the body. Substances such as harmful fumes, organic contaminates like fungi or bacteria, or inorganic particles like dust can all be inhaled, where they enter the lungs, causing damage to them, or are absorbed into the bloodstream where harmful toxins can be spread around the body, causing potential damage to organs.
Absorption through the skin :- This method of entry occurs when the substance in question comes into contact with the skin and enters the body through an open wound or through the pores of the skin. Ingestion :- Although not as common as the other two methods listed above, substances which are harmful to health can also be ingested through the mouth either by breathing in dust particles through the mouth, or by accidental swallowing e.
Injection :- Accidental injuries caused by sharp objects can penetrate the skin and allow harmful substances into the body. Particular hazards include discarded needles and syringes. There are numerous occupations where sharps risks are present including customs officials searching luggage, waste disposal workers either medical waste or household , and construction workers where illegal drug use may have taken place on abandoned or derelict sites, or even current building sites if there have been trespassers on site overnight during the construction work.
Once harmful substances have entered the body, they can cause damage to one or more of the body's systems, depending upon the type of substance in question and its particular properties. The systems of the body that are most at risk are the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and the urinary system. As with most risks, prevention is a much more preferable option than dealing with the consequences.
For this reason, it is vital that your employees receive suitable COSHH training which covers the particular substances that they will be working with or around during their workplace activities. COSHH training should therefore form a part of your programme of health and safety training, including managers and supervisors being able to perform a sufficient COSHH risk assessment.
Substances which are hazardous to health are not only a danger when they are being used; they can also pose just as much of a risk whilst they are being stored. Incorrect, unsuitable or improper storage of hazardous substances can result in leaks, spillages and contamination , not to mention possible explosions and fires.
In fact, it is not uncommon for the results of leaks or other breach of containment to cause far more wider-reaching and destructive consequences to health than using the actual substance on its own normally could ever cause. For these reasons, the safe and proper storage of hazardous substances is of paramount importance. Not only will storing hazardous COSHH substances safely help to prevent harm from coming to a person, but it will also serve to reduce potential damage to the environment that would occur if, say, oil were to leak out and contaminate the groundwater and surrounding waterways.
Our accident investigation course is aimed at those persons responsible for leading or participating in accident investigations, and aims to equip them with the broad base of skills needed to undertake the task along with how to reduce the risk of expensive litigation and criminal proceedings, and establish the importance of correct methods of accident investigation. It will also help those who may be involved in the process such as supervisors, managers and directors.
The Fire Safety course is aimed at all employees who need a basic awareness of fire safety issues. It is a health and safety training course which has been designed to give all personnel the necessary information, skills and training for them to be competent in basic fire safety. Fires are a common potential danger in every single workplace and industry. Therefore, understanding the risks and having suitable prevention measures in place is vital.
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At the conclusion of the course, delegates will have an understanding of safe manual handling principles and possess the skills to avoid the dangers to health of careless and unskilled manual handling operations. A permit to work system ensures that formal validation and authority is given when hazardous work is to be undertaken.
It ensures that all components of a safe system of work are established before high risk work commences, thereby controlling and reducing risk to individuals and the organisation. The permit to work is also a means of communication and control between site managers, supervisors, contractors and those carrying out the hazardous work.
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