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11:16:35 PMCEMENT AND TOXINS
Many types of cement powder can cause allergic reactions upon skin contact and are irritating to skin, eyes, and lungs but let's talk about the skin first.Health effects
Cement can cause ill health by skin contact, eye contact, or inhalation. Risk of injury depends on duration and level of exposure and individual sensitivity.
Hazardous materials in wet concrete and mortar include:
alkaline compounds such as #lime (calcium oxide) that are corrosive to human tissue when contacted with skin.
The hazards of wet cement are due to its caustic, abrasive, and drying properties.
Wet cement contacting the skin for a short period and then thoroughly washed off causes little irritation. But continuous contact between skin and wet cement allows #Alkaline compounds to penetrate and burn the skin.
When wet concrete or mortar is trapped against the skin—for instance, by falling inside a worker’s boots or gloves or by soaking through protective clothing—the result may be first, second, or third degree burns or skin ulcers. These injuries can take several months to heal and may involve hospitalization and skin grafts.
Allergic skin reaction:
Some workers become allergic to the hexavalent chromium in cement. A small yet significant percentage of all workers using cement will develop an allergy to chromium, with symptoms ranging from a mild rash to severe skin ulcers.
In addition to skin reactions, hexavalent chromium can cause a respiratory allergy called occupational asthma. Symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing. Workers may develop both skin and respiratory allergies to hexavalent chromium.
It’s possible to work with cement for years without any allergic skin reaction and then to suddenly develop such a reaction. The condition gets worse until exposure to even minute quantities triggers a severe reaction. The allergy usually lasts a lifetime and prevents any future work with wet concrete or powder cement.
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