which tells the body¶s cells to perform certain activities. Three categories of effects can resultfrom such substances:1. A
effect is an increase in an individual¶s risk of contracting cancer.(a) It has been evaluated by the International Agency for Research on
), andfound to be a carcinogen or potential carcinogen; or (b) It is listed as a carcinogen or potential carcinogen in the Annual Report on
arcinogenspublished by the
ational Toxicology Program (
TP) (latest edition); or (c) It is regulated by OSHA as a carcinogen.2. A
effect is a permanent change in the genetic material (D
A), which may bepassed along to later generations.3. A
effect is an increased risk that a developing embryo will have physical defects.Determining what level of exposure causes these effects requires laboratory research under controlled conditions. Even then, results must be
from laboratory animals tohumans. That is, scientists must make assumptions and apply formulas to decide what their experiments tell them about
exposures. Another way to classify a hazardous substance or chemical is by their physiological effects. Thisclassification includes the following major groups:1.
are chemicals which are not corrosive, but which cause a reversible inflammatoryeffect on living tissue by chemical action at the site of contact. A chemical is a skin irritant if,when tested on the intact skin of albino rabbits by the methods of 16
FR 1500.41 for 4hours exposure or by other appropriate techniques, it results in an empirical score of five or more. A chemical is an eye irritant if so determined under the procedure listed in 16
FR1500.42 or other appropriate techniques.2.
are chemicals that cause visible destruction of, or irreversible alterations in, livingtissue by chemical action at the site of contact. For example, a chemical is considered to becorrosive if, when tested on the intact skin of albino rabbits by the method described by theU.S. Department of Transportation in appendix A to 49
FR part 173, it destroys or changesirreversibly the structure of the tissue at the site of contact following an exposure period of 4hours. This term shall not refer to action on inanimate surfaces.3.
can be physical or chemical.
are gases or vapors thatdilute or displace oxygen normally in the atmosphere. (Vapors from flammable andcombustible liquids displace oxygen in the environment, being heavier than air.)
are chemicals that prevent the cells from taking up or transferring oxygen in thebody or to the tissues.
arbon monoxide is a well-known asphyxiant, which chemically ³tiesup´ the hemoglobin in the blood so that the body¶s metabolism slows and stops.4.
Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants
affect the nervous system. This broad categoryincludes vapors from most anesthetic gases, depressants, and organic solvents (a generalcategory that includes most household cleaners as well as many paints, glues, and adhesives).Some
S depressants produce a feeling of dizziness or giddiness. More severe effects(including death) can also result.5.
dramatically affect specific organ systems. For example, mercury vapor,which Victorian hat makers had to inhale regularly when mercury was used in making hats,causes a serious nervous system disorder which could lead to insanity. (The ³Mad Hatter´ in Alice in Wonderland suffered from an occupational illness.)6.
are chemicals that cause a substantial proportion of exposed people or animals todevelop an allergic reaction in normal tissue after repeated exposure to the chemical.(Examples are formaldehyde, poison ivy, and poison oak. Some epoxy resins and polyester resins can cause many people to have a
and become ill.)Many chemicals can have multiple effects. For example, xylene, commonly used in paint, is bothan irritant and a
S depressant.Symptoms of toxic exposure include a broad range of reactions: chronic coughs, difficulty inbreathing, skin ulcers, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, headaches, dizziness, chest pain, sore eyesand skin, difficulty in sleeping, lack of appetite, weight loss, nausea, tremors, and many others.However, the same symptoms can result from many other causes as well. Tracing a particular reaction to a specific source can be a challenge to even the most experienced environmentaltoxicologists, allergists, and industrial hygiene specialists. This is further complicated by the factthat many effects are delayed, and are apparent only later in life. The individual experiencing thesymptom may no longer live near the original source, or may not even know that the exposure