Every workplace has the potential to be risky, but some environments contain more inherent dangers than others. This is certainly true of such job sites as heavy metal refineries. Though precautions have greatly improved in the last few decades, positions in this environment may still be vulnerable to ailments and injuries that are unique to the job.
It is vital that all employees who have worked in a heavy metal refinery tend to their health and consider whether their work exposed them to toxins. If you suspect you are ill as a result of such exposure, you should seek medical care and consider consulting with a legal representative, too.
There are a number of carcinogens present in many heavy metals. When these metals go through the refining process, those carcinogens can release into the air, and workers could potentially inhale them. Continual inhalation of such toxins can cause various sorts of cancers, with lung cancer being perhaps the most common.
In addition to the carcinogens found in heavy metals, there are often neurotoxins that can inflict considerable injury on employees’ bodies. According to the National Institutes of Health, aluminum, for example, has a link to Alzheimer’s as well as various other neurological disorders. Emission of these toxins in the workplace can have a devastating effect and lead to lifelong neurological damage.
Yet another one of the most common illnesses caused by exposure to heavy metal refinery is lead poisoning. Even if the plant in question does not process pure lead itself, it may be present in trace amounts or in alloys going through the refining process. Workers can easily inhale the resultant emissions in the air, leading to gradual poisoning. It is vital to be aware of lead poisoning symptoms and get treatment if any appear.