Chemical Handling: Exposure Pathways
One route of entry for chemical exposure is absorption through the skin. Due to the nature of chemical handling, chemical absorption typically occurs through skin on the hands. Contact with chemical substances can cause skin irritation, burns or tissue damage and the effects can occur immediately, upon the first contact, or gradually, over repeated exposures. Therefore, it is important to know the chemicals you are working with and utilize protective gloves during chemical handling.
Chemical Handling: Hand Protection
Known hazardous chemicals, such as irritants, can cause redness and/or rash. Other chemicals, such as corrosives, can cause skin burns and tissue damage upon contact. However, less obviously hazardous chemical substances, such as detergents and solvents, can dry out the skin on your hands by dissolving oils. As a result, your hands may develop a rash, which can result in further irritation and discomfort with continued use throughout the day.
To protect your hands from intentional or accidental contact with chemical substances, it’s important to wear the right gloves for the chemicals you are handling. Not all gloves are made the same and different gloves offer different levels of protection. Additionally, a glove material that protects against one chemical may not protect against other chemicals.
Even after using gloves, you should wash your hands after handling chemicals, especially before eating, drinking or smoking. In summation, know the chemicals around you, protect your hands from chemical contact and wear proper hand protection when handling chemicals