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Chronic Effect

Last updated: February 14, 2014

What Does Chronic Effect Mean?

A chronic effect in the context of occupational health and safety is the response to chemicals, biological agents, dusts and vapors that occurs after a long period of exposure. Many chemicals and other substances in the workplace at allowable levels may not immediately provoke bad responses from the workers exposed to it. However, after extended periods of time the symptoms of sickness appear.

Safeopedia Explains Chronic Effect

Chronic effects due to exposure to some chemicals and substances has been experienced among workers a long time after they were exposed to it. Some irritants can include: radio active substances, organophosphate, beryllium, asbestos, hydrogen sulfide, biological agents, dusts, etc.. Generally it is the lungs, livers, kidneys, eyes reproductive and digestive systems that are most affected by these substances that were present in the workplace.

Main features of chronic effects are:

  • Complex and multiple causes gradually deteriorating quality of life
  • Occurs at an older age
  • Physical limitations and disability
  • Long term persistence
  • Treatment is costly
  • Can cause premature death

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