Rubber Industry

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					Rubber Industry

                   OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
                          PHYSICAL HAZARD

                                  RUBBER INDUSTRY


Rubber Workers: You Face Risks to Your Health

There are a variety of health hazards faced by rubber workers. Depending on the
specific chemicals rubber workers are exposed to, the health hazards range from skin
diseases (dermatitis) to lung diseases to cancer.

Cancer

Here are various types of cancer that rubber workers have faced at rates from 1.4 to 6
times the rate for the general population:

      stomach cancer
      intestinal cancer
      pancreatic cancer
      lung cancer
      prostate cancer
      bladder cancer
      skin cancer
      brain cancer
      lymphatic cancer
      leukemia

How Do You Get Cancer?

In the rubber industry, workers can be at risk of getting cancer from a variety of the
chemicals, it has to get into your body somehow.

For chemicals to get into your body, you may:

      inhale it
      swallow it
      take it in through your skin
Some of the Chemicals You May Be Exposed To:

accelerators                bonding agents

>   amines                  > resorcinol
>   guanadines              > aldehydes
>   thiazoles
>   dithiocarbamates
>   thiurams

antioxidants                fillers

> PAN, PBN                  > carbon black
> 4,4-
diaminodiphenylmethane

activators                  retarders

>   zinc oxide              > nitrosamines
>   magnesium oxide
>   lead oxide
>   calcium oxide

antitack agents             solvents

> zinc sterate              > aliphatic hydrocarbons:
                            pentane, hexane, heptane
> talc                      > aromatic hydrocarbons:
                            benzene, toluene, xylene

How Do We Protect Ourselves From This Chemical Soup?

Exercise your right to know. The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
(WHMIS) requires:

        proper labeling of containers of chemicals
        Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) which provide more information
        worker education and training developed in consultation with the health and
         safety committee

Control at the Source

Change the Chemical. Benzene, for example, a solvent known to cause cancer has
been replaced in the rubber industry by less hazardous solvents such as toluene.
Change the Form of the Chemical. As a general rule, the more solid the chemical, the
less change it has to enter your body.

Isolate the Chemical. Enclose the process so that you are not exposed.

Control Along the Path - Ventilation

Local Exhaust Ventilation. Put a fan or hood near the source of the airborne
contaminant so that the contaminant cannot enter your breathing zone. Ensure the draw
of the ventilation is enough to capture all of the chemical.

General Ventilation. Although general ventilation through the use of ceiling fans and
such can be helpful in making the workplace more comfortable, it is not effective
enough for hazardous chemicals.

Control at the Worker - Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment, such as respirators, for protection from exposures
should not have to be used routinely. The emphasis should always be on controlling
health hazards at the source by the use of ventilation systems.

If there are unusual circumstances such as spills, for example, workers should be fitted
with respirators such as air-supplied respirators or cartridge-type respirators, depending
on the hazard. As well, gloves and other protective clothing which do not allow the
chemical to pass through to your skin must be used.

				
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posted:3/28/2010
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