Chemical exposure can cause brain injury. A person may come in contact with hazardous substances when they are released to the environment. These chemicals may come from landfills, factories, industrial plants, incinerators, tanks or drums.
A person can be exposed to chemicals in many ways. Among them are through inhalation, skin contact and ingestion.
Hazardous chemical vapors can enter our bodies when inhaled. Skin contact with a hazardous chemical can also happen when swimming anywhere.
The common forms of chemical exposure are through contamination in the water, soil, air and food. A person may ingest chemical when drinking contaminated water. An accidental ingestion of a chemical can also happen when swimming in a pool or body of water. Foods may be contaminated, too during handling or food processing.
There are many adverse effects when hazardous chemicals enter the body. These effects are more fatal to a child. They provide greater risk to young persons than to adults. Chemical exposure is more dangerous to a child-bearing woman since developing organs of the child in the womb may be permanently damaged.
Children aged 1 to 6 years old can also take more chemical than adults due to their body chemistry, activity level and smaller body. Chemicals entering a kid’s body at this age bracket may disrupt different body processes which is important for proper cell development. Development of child organs to a mature organ is impaired.
Adverse health effects are dependent to many factors such as amount or dosage of the chemical, kind of chemical, duration of exposure and frequency of exposure as well.
Chemical Exposure and Brain Injury
Chemical exposure may also cause brain injury. However, it is not the leading cause of brain injury including a traumatic brain injury.
Hazardous chemicals entering the body can highly affect the function of a healthy brain. Chemicals may be inhaled or ingested either in a workplace, outdoors, a garden and even from inside our houses.
Here are the kinds of chemicals that may be lethal to the brain and can cause serious health problems.
Pesticides are used to kill insects which feed on plants we eat or crops. Exposure to a large amount of pesticides can cause brain injury.
Children exposed to harmful chemicals are at a higher risk of having brain injury than exposed adults. This is because the underdeveloped brain of the kid cannot discharge the chemicals out of their system unlike the metabolism of the adult.
Most pesticides are neurotoxins that are used to destroy the nervous system of an insect. Since the nervous system of an insect is alike to the nervous system of a human being, similar effects are experienced by individuals exposed to pesticides.
Eating fruits or vegetables sprayed with pesticides may affect our health but not necessarily cause brain injury. But pesticides as gaseous chemicals inhaled by a person can negatively affect the brain.
An odorless carbon monoxide (CO) does not mean it cannot affect health. This chemical is a silent poisoning gas. It is released after combustion of fossil fuels and commonly used in vehicle engines. It is a harmful gas released as an exhaust from the engines of the vehicle.
A toxic level of carbon monoxide can cause unconsciousness. It may deplete the brain of oxygen. A brain injury or at worse, death may happen as a result of this level of exposure.
A domestic heating system can also generate carbon monoxide.
Continuous exposure to lead can cause neurological problems and also develop brain injury.
Lead which is toxic can be found in paint. Leaded paint is also used in providing bright colors on toys.
Inhaled lead can also cause anemia, reduction of motor skills, sever headaches, kidney damage and hearing problems.
Contaminated water can also contain lead.
Lead dust in a working environment such as in demolition site, battery manufacturing plant, paint production factory, vehicle painting section can also be very lethal.
The other metal which can cause brain damage is mercury. Mercury exposure can also develop breathing problems, short term memory loss and decrease in motor skills.
Some chemicals are added to paint such as paint thinner and glue. These can cause neurological problems and also brain injury. Overexposure to paint thinner and glue can also cause dizziness, headaches, mental disorientation and fatigue.
Other discomforts can arise as a result to exposure to toxic chemicals are visual problems and numbness.
A person can also suffer from dementia and depression due to chemical exposure.