4 Chemicals You Must AVOID To Not Get Leukemia

Households create ordinary garbage. Cars, trucks, and buses emit exhaust gases while in operation. Industrial and manufacturing processes create solid and hazardous waste. Some wastes contain chemicals that are hazardous to people and the environment. Once these hazardous chemicals are present in the environment, people can become exposed to them. Exposure occurs when people have contact with a chemical, either directly or through another substance contaminated with a chemical.The different ways a person can come into contact with hazardous chemicals are called exposure pathways. There are three basic exposure pathways: inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. Inhalation is breathing or inhaling into the lungs. Ingestion is taking something in by mouth. Skin contact occurs when something comes in direct contact with the skin. Ingestion can be a secondary exposure pathway after skin contact has occurred, if you put your hands in your mouth and transfer the chemical from your hands to your mouth.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed informational summaries on selected chemicals to describe how people might be exposed to these chemicals and how exposure to them might affect their health. The summaries also explain what happens to the chemicals in the environment, who regulates them, and whom to contact for additional information.

Some common ways a person may be exposed to hazardous chemicals include:

Water. Exposure can occur when people drink contaminated groundwater or surface water, or accidentally ingest it while swimming or showering. Direct skin contact also is an exposure pathway that occurs during activities like swimming and showering. For more information about water and hazardous chemicals, view the MDNRCDC and EPA websites.

Soil, Sediment, or Dust. People can be exposed to hazardous chemicals in soil, sediment, or dust if they accidentally ingest it, breathe it in, or have direct skin contact. Children are highly susceptible to these exposure pathways. In their daily activities, children have a tendency to have frequent hand-to-mouth contact and introduce non-food items into their mouths. For more information about hazardous substances, view the EPA webpages.

Air. Exposure can occur when people breathe in hazardous chemical vapors or air that is contaminated by hazardous chemicals or dust. More information is available about chemicals in the air at the websites of MDNR, CDC and EPA.

Food. People can be exposed to hazardous chemicals through the food they eat. Food contamination can occur if the food has come into contact with hazardous chemicals. It can also occur further down the food chain such as through eating contaminated fish. For more information, see the DHSS fish advisory.

The liver attempts to detoxify harmful chemicals in the body by converting them to less toxic ones or ones that could be used by the body. The body naturally attempts to eliminate substances that are harmful or are not used. The kidneys filter substances out of the blood and excrete them in urine. Also, chemicals are removed from the body in feces, sweat and exhalation. However, the body may not be able to remove all the chemicals. The amount, type, and length of time you are exposed to harmful substances will determine if you are at risk for adverse health effects.

Therefore, the state and federal governments have determined health-based comparison values for contaminants that when exceeded, exposure may result in an excessive health risk. The chart below contains levels used by agencies to determine if doses of chemicals may be harmful to human health.