Occupational Health & Safety/common 'garage' chemicals

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Question
Hello:

Seeing all the products marked as toxic and/or harmful, sometimes stating that exposure may cause central nervous system, i.e. brain, damage, I got wondering how an ordinary consumer would know if the level of exposure they got may be high enough to get brain damage. How much or little is too much? I am specifically referring to products such as aerosol paints, degreases and glues, even modeling cements used by kids. Pretty much the stuff that people joke about getting high on. Jokes aside, would feeling hight, dizzy, or nauseous be a prerequisite to getting damage?

Clarification: I havenít experienced any such symptoms, and rarely use such products, but canít help but think that if I can smell it, I am being harmed.

Thank you,

Eugene

Answer
all chemicals can be toxic, depending on the dose.  Also each chemical has its own hazards and toxicity.  If someone were experiencing a "high", that would be an acute or short term health effect.  Long term or chronic health effects can also occur with repeated exposures.  You would have to look at the material's safety data sheet for the acute and chronic health effects to see what could happen and if there were"exposure limits".  Just because a product is on the market doesn't earn its safe.  Read the labels and follow all warnings.

Occupational Health & Safety

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Jacob Schock

Expertise

Occupational health, risk & exposure assessment, incident investigation. Health effects of chemicals

Experience

14 years in occupational health & industrial hygiene

Organizations
American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Engineers

Education/Credentials
BS- Health Sciences, MS- Environmental Health

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