When it comes to safety and health, certain risks have been well known for quite some time. However, there are also lesser-known hazards that can cause harm if not addressed adequately.
Here are eight potential safety hazards you may not know about:
1. Laced Weed
Cannabis has become increasingly popular recently, but many don’t realize that it can sometimes be “laced” with other substances such as PCP or cocaine. This increases the risk of a bad reaction or unexpected side effects when using marijuana products, so always ask your supplier where they source their cannabis before consuming any product.
Identifying laced marijuana can be challenging. Contaminants are not obvious to the naked eye. If you think that you may have ingested weed that has been “laced” with other drugs or chemicals, there are several signs to be aware of:
- extreme reactions and effects that are more intense than what’s usually experienced
- feeling intoxicated, confused, dizzy, paranoid
- abnormally energetic impulses that can range from uncontrollable laughing to being overly active and agitated
- sensory perceptions being drastically distorted
2. UV Radiation Exposure
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause harmful short-term and long-term damage. The immediate signs of UV radiation exposure can help you better assess whether you’ve been exposed to too much.
For example, some people may experience redness and swelling in areas that have come into contact with UV radiation or pain when touching those areas. Skin rashes may also appear soon after exposure. It is essential to take notice of these signs and adjust your behavior if needed.
UV radiation emitted from the sun can also lead to more severe health issues, such as skin cancer, eye damage, and premature aging. Always wear sunscreen when spending long periods outside and take extra care around reflective surfaces like water or snow.
Before 1980, asbestos was used in many building materials due to its fire-resistant properties. Asbestos is a dangerous mineral with severe and lasting health effects if inhaled or ingested. It was used in the past to make materials such as insulation, paint, and cement because it is durable and fireproof.
However, when these materials become old or damaged, they release tiny fibers into the air, which can be easily inhaled. Asbestos exposure has been linked to several respiratory illnesses. This includes mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, which can all lead to death.
It is important to remember that these diseases may only show symptoms many years after exposure. That is why taking precautions while working with material containing asbestos is important. Consult a health care professional if you believe you have been exposed.
4. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless gas that can be released from faulty appliances such as stoves, heaters, and gas-powered generators. It can build up quickly in enclosed spaces, leading to serious health problems if not addressed immediately. Ensure your appliances are regularly serviced. Only use gas-powered devices indoors with proper ventilation.
Be mindful of the following warning signs that may indicate carbon monoxide poisoning:
- breathing difficulties
- blue lips
If you start to feel any of these symptoms after using a gas-powered appliance indoors, immediately open windows and doors for ventilation and call 911 immediately. It is also essential to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you have gas appliances, as they can alert you when the levels of CO become too high.
5. Lead Poisoning
If you are living or operating a business in an older building, inspecting your home for lead is essential. Lead can be found in paint, soil, and drinking water sources from years past that may still exist today.
Even low levels of exposure can cause severe harm to young children’s development, so take the necessary precautionary steps now! Keep an eye out for signs of lead poisoning, such as:
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
6. Radon Gas
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released from the Earth’s crust into the atmosphere that can become trapped in poorly ventilated homes. Prolonged exposure to high radon levels can increase lung cancer risk. You must test your home for its presence and take action if necessary. Warning signs may include:
- persistent cough
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- chronic fatigue
Be cautious when utilizing pesticide products, and always read the labels before use. Better yet, opt for natural alternatives. Also, wear protective clothing to avoid skin contact with pesticides in closed areas if you start exhibiting symptoms such as nausea, headaches, or dizziness. These could be a sign of pesticide poisoning, which contain hazardous chemicals that can bring about serious health issues on ingestion or absorption through the skin.
8. Ergonomic Hazards
Inadequate posture, regular repetitive motions, and ergonomic risks like extended sitting, can lead to exhaustion, muscle discomfort, and long-term medical issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
You must take frequent breaks from your workstation or computer screen to avoid these effects. Adjust the environment to a comfortable height suited to yourself. Finally, remember proper body alignment when undertaking monotonous tasks.
Protect Yourself From These Safety Hazards
While these eight hazards may not be widely known, it’s essential to be aware of them and take the necessary steps to prevent potential risks. Monitor your environment for potential hazards, stay informed about new health risks, and always practice safe habits when dealing with potentially hazardous materials.
By being mindful of our safety and those around us, we can all stay healthy and safe!