Diseases Caused by Cleaning Chemicals
- Protecting yourself from cleaning chemicals can prevent unpleasant conditions or diseases.Cleaning materials image by TekinT from Fotolia.com
Cleaning chemicals, although very useful, can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Most people take special care around the harsher varieties, such as dry-cleaning chemicals and industrial cleaning products and solvents. But even common household-cleaning products like detergents and bleach can cause adverse reactions in the human body. There are several diseases caused by cleaning chemicals that can be lessened or avoided by using gloves and masks to minimize skin and lung contact. In addition, work spaces should be well-ventilated to avoid dangerous fumes.
- Acute hepatitis refers to short-term liver inflammation that is caused by a virus, drug overdose or chemical exposure, such as contact with dry-cleaning chemicals. The disease can come on suddenly or gradually, but has a limited course and rarely lasts beyond two months. Symptoms of acute hepatitis include jaundice, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, upper abdomen tenderness, sore muscles, joint pain and hives. Medical treatment is usually unnecessary because acute hepatitis almost always resolves on its own. People with this disease may need to slow down, but if they feel fine, there is no reason to discontinue work or other activities. When hepatitis lasts longer than six months, it's considered chronic hepatitis, which requires treatment by a doctor to avoid liver damage and alleviate symptoms.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
- A localized inflammation of the skin, irritant contact dermatitis can be caused by direct skin contact with various chemicals, such as industrial cleaning products or solvents. Symptoms consist of an immediate red rash on the affected skin, which may include blistering and/or hives. Irritant contact dermatitis is more painful than itchy, with a burning sensation commonly experienced. In most cases, Irritant contact dermatitis doesn't require medical attention. Suggested at-home treatment consists of avoiding the chemical trigger, washing with soap and cool water, and applying cold compresses to any blistering. Calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream or oral antihistamines can relieve itching. People prone to skin conditions, such as eczema, are more likely to develop irritant contact dermatitis.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Multiple chemical sensitivity, or MCS, is a relatively common disease caused by toxic chemical exposure. Among the many strong-smelling chemicals that can initiate cases of MCS are pesticides, cleaning solvents, bleach, paint or air-fresheners. As a response to these chemicals, the body produces excessive activity of the NMDA receptor -- a receptor which plays a significant role in memory and nerve cell function. Resulting symptoms can include nausea, fatigue, headaches, earaches, aching joints, a runny nose, heart palpitations and mental confusion. Treatment generally consists of lifestyle changes, such as avoidance of all chemical irritants, a chemical-free living environment and a change in diet.