By: Joseph Jones.
I owed a debt of gratitude to the late Sir. Joseph Nathaniel France who was the longest serving general secretary of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades & Labour Union. It was because of him why my life has never been the same.
He departed from us in the morning of May in the year 1997 to the great beyond. He became my mentor as a new follower in the Trade Union Movement. He not only invested time in me but he took risks by giving me opportunities to learn and grow in Trade Unionism, and also the opportunity to be a student in Occupational Health and Safety and to travel widely.
As a result, he helped to shape and prepare me for a life of teaching and writing these articles. I am glad I was able to express thanks to him on a number of occasions.
Now let me move on to the subject that is ahead of us as workers. “I am committed.” The type of toxicity caused by chemical is the result of the interplay of a number of factors (1) Chemical Structure is the way the chemical is built up. (2) The physical form of the chemical is (Dust vapor, liquids) 3. The route of entry into the body. (4) The tissues and organs in which it collects or localizes. (5) The frequency, concentration of the air borne contaminant.
Example, Inhalation and duration of exposure. (6) You and I response to the chemical which can be very variable. Hello, the physical form of the chemical can influence how it enters the body and to what extent what dangers it causes.
You may want to find out what are the main forms of toxic materials. (1)Solids, (2) Dusts, (3) Liquids, (4) Vapors, (5) Gases. Now, let me take a little time to itemize that you the workers could understand how dangerous it is when dealing with chemicals.
Solids. They are unlikely to enter the body accidentally so they are least likely to cause industrial poisoning though some solids can contaminate the skin or food. The main danger they change their form while being worked.
For example, wood can turned into dust which can be breathed, welding rods can decompose into fumes and gases.
Dust are tiny particles, they brought into the workplaces. For example, bags of cement that is harmful. Is that it may breathe into the lungs; larger particles are usually trapped by hairs and mucus into the nose and wind pipe where they can be driven out.
When it comes to liquids, there are many hazards substances such as acids solvent-which I wrote about last week. Which can damage the skin directly.
Vapors these are tiny droplets suspended in the air and in some cases irritate the eyes. Some vapors are flammable or explosive.
Lastly, Gases, some liquids and solias can become gases when heated, some are easy to detect, having color or smell, others are, however, colorless and odorless and can go undetected unless special tests are carried out some have immediate irritant effects.
Note well words.
Decompose * To resolve into original elements (to decay).
Mucus * A viscid fluid Secreted by the mucous membrane.
Membrane * A thin flexible texture in animal bodies,
A Similar texture in plants.