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"Heavy metal" also refers to a form of rock and roll music, but such references are unlikely to be found in an MSDS.
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Lead poisoning is another example of heavy metal poisoning. Lead is neurotoxic, so individuals whose body is still developing (such as children or developing fetuses) are most at risk. While some aspects of lead poisoning are reversible in adults, in children this can interfere with normal development, cause irreparable brain damage, or kill.
Because of the recognized dangers of these elements, OSHA has established workplace guidelines for the following heavy metals:
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Presumably, employers should be taking care to ensure that no worker is exposed to potentially harmful levels of any substance. However, this is not always the case, so be vigilant. Be sure to read the MSDS for any heavy-metal containing material very closely. It should describe the symptoms of poisoning and chronic effects of exposure.
Heavy metals are fetotoxic, so women of child-bearing age should avoid any exposure to heavy metals. Note: the U.S. Supreme Court has declared it illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act for employers to bar women from jobs that may expose them to lead or other toxins! See this OSHA Interpretation Letter on the ruling or this EEOC PDA fact sheet for more information.
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See also: alopecia, nephrotoxin, reproductive toxin.
Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.
Entry last updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2016. This page is copyright 2000-2017 by ILPI. Unauthorized duplication or posting on other web sites is expressly prohibited. Send suggestions, comments, and new entry desires (include the URL if applicable) to us by email.
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