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The Four deadliest forms of workplace illnesses everyone should know about

  • May 25, 2022
  • 5 min read
The Four deadliest forms of workplace illnesses everyone should know about

It is your right to a safe and secure working environment as a worker. After all, when you’re spending more than half your day doing physical labor, it is only fair you get taken care of.

Unless you have the right equipment and safety gear and pay attention to your bodily needs as you work, you will fall sick.

Recovering from these conditions may be impossible and push you to a dangerous level. However, learning about the lethal aspects of working in your profession can help you prepare for the worst.

You’re also better positioned to make all the necessary arrangements essential for your well-being. For your health; here’s what you need to know:

  1. Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that can build up in your lungs, abdomen, heart, or testicles.

This cancer spreads far and wide and is only diagnosed in its late stages, making treatment hard. While it may sound intimidating, you must learn about mesothelioma and seek the treatment route most suitable for your cancer.

Asbestos fibers cause mesothelioma. Around the early 90s, construction companies heavily depended on asbestos-related products to do their work.

So if you worked around that period, you would have had heavy exposure, and by the time you’re in your fifties, you may start feeling sick.

There are many symptoms associated with malignant mesothelioma; depending on where the cells are concentrated, you may feel sharp pain, blood in your saliva, and intense weakness.

You may also have bloating and water retention in your extremities. Cancer has no cure, but you can control the symptoms.

You can do this by going for surgery, chemo, or radiation. Unless you shrink these cells, you may find it hard to get back on your feet. If you delay getting checked even if you feel sick, you allow cancer to seep in deeper.

  1. Byssinosis

Byssinosis is a type of lung disease. When your lungs get impacted, it can make it hard for you to breathe, and soon, your whole body starts buckling, and you cannot keep up without sufficient oxygen flowing through your system.

Byssinosis is activated by inhaling cotton dust and textile fibers in enclosed spaces without ventilation. Initially, you may not feel anything but the more you’re in this environment, and your lungs continue getting weaker and infected.  

Eventually, you will feel tightness in your chest, find yourself gasping for air, and cough nonstop. Soon you start feeling fatigued, feel pain in your joints and get a high-grade fever.

If you continue going back to the same environment, your lungs will continue struggling under the weight of the cotton dust.

The only solution to Byssinosis is to remove yourself from the harmful environment and keep yourself away from most dust particles by wearing a mask.

A doctor may recommend N95 for its minute filter, preventing most dust particles from reaching you.

At the same time, since your airway is constricted, you may need bronchodilators to open up your closed bronchioles, allowing more air to enter your lungs and facilitate your breathing.

Severe cases may need corticosteroids. But it would help if you never indulged in these steroids without your doctor’s approval and monitoring since over-pumping hormones can lead to other illnesses which can deteriorate your health, especially when you take hormones with no regulation.

So the quickest way to get better is to use a face mask, stay away from dust and use your inhaler as much as possible.

  1. Lead Poisoning

Lead is a significant component in many industries, especially when building alloys or using lead to make new structures.

Leads give off light dusting that can cling to your fingers and face as you work on your project. Unless you wash your hands and look after work, you have a high chance of ingesting lead.

This metal is highly toxic and once it enters your bloodstream, getting it to leave is painful but necessary. Your symptoms may include experiencing headaches, feeling dizzy, and becoming anemic.

As lead continues to grow in your bloodstream, you may also have seizures, damage your brain and end up in a coma.

So when you start feeling unusual at work, you must check into a hospital. A doctor may put you on Chelation therapy, a mouth-administered medication that binds to lead in your bloodstream and gets excreted through urine.

This can prevent lead from continuing to wreak havoc on your system. When you go back to work, you must learn how to protect yourself from dust and prevent yourself from increasing your exposure.

  1. Anthrax

When you’re dealing with animals often found grazing over grass, there is a high chance you may come across anthrax.

This type of bacteria is highly contagious and often impacts animals. So when you touch an animal, ingest their meat, or inhale the atmosphere rich with anthrax, you have a high chance of getting sick.

Most anthrax cases are fatal and become severe from the minute you catch them. Symptoms include blood in diarrhea, fever, swollen neck glands, and dizziness.

In some cases, you may even fall unconscious. While the window is slim, get yourself checked if you notice unusual symptoms when working with animals.

A positive blood screening results in doctors giving you antibiotics intravenously. This can help you recover if you get help on time.

Final Thoughts

Specific working environments have hazardous conditions which can lead to diseases that can be both fatal and difficult to treat.

The only way is to get timely help and identify the signs of an impending severe illness. Common causes of these conditions include mesothelioma, Byssinosis, lead poisoning, and anthrax.

While distinct, each disease takes a toll on your body and can hinder you. As a worker, you need to demand protective gear when you head out to do your tasks.

So no matter how dangerous the space you’re working in, you can handle yourself and minimize the chance of getting sick.

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