Benzene is a colorless liquid chemical that is described as having a sweet smell. However, it is one of the most dangerous and most prevalent chemicals on earth.
Being one of the most polluted states, Illinois sees a high number of fatalities from diseases linked to asbestos exposure. In fact, it comes in seventh in a list of the 15 worst states. These states saw a combined total of over 100,000 asbestos-related deaths between 1999 and 2013. The following is a brief summary of that list.
Exposure to asbestos, especially to high amounts of it over a long period of time, can result in certain malign diseases. The most frequent are discussed below so that workers in Illinois are aware of the risks. Asbestos is, after all, the single largest cause of occupational cancers to date in the U.S.
Employers in Missouri may have wellness programs in place that help employees engage in healthy physical activity. However, these cannot help when the physical environment itself is unhealthy. OSHA is clear about the dangers that poor indoor air quality can pose for workers. Side effects include headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and inflammation of the throat and lungs.
Asbestos was used widely in the U.S. from the late 1800s to the 1970s until its use was banned in wallboard patching compounds and gas fireplaces. In 1989, the Asbestos Ban and Phase-Out rule prohibited all new uses of asbestos, specifically in flooring felt, commercial paper, corrugated paper, rollboard and specialty paper. Missouri residents should know, however, that the EPA is making a drastic change.
Many Illinois and Missouri residents may have grown up in old homes or worked in buildings that were made using asbestos as construction materials. Asbestos, which is a type of mineral, was used because it was an effective insulator and flame retardant. However, it was found that exposure to asbestos fibers could be hazardous to a person's health.
The potential health risks of asbestos exposure are serious. Historically speaking, this is something that has been known for millennia. Greek and Roman descriptions of lung sickness in slaves who worked with asbestos or mined it date back 2,000 years.