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OSHA admits failure in health threat prevention for workers

Since the industrial age, factories have been known for their unsafe working conditions. While many steps and guidelines have been put into place to improve the environment and safety of workers, there is still apparently much more that can be done to prevent occupational injury. Many health issues that men and women in Mississippi suffer with are the result of long-term effects from their jobs and the environments they are exposed to day after day. Repetitive stress injuries are common since workers often stay at one station and do the same motions with their hands and arms throughout their employment.

However there may be other dangers that workers are unaware of. OSHA's director admitted that while the agency focuses on immediate risks to employees, there is less attention being given to dangers that can affect workers' health in the future. For example, many manufacturing plants in Mississippi and in other states use glues that contain a chemical called nPB. This chemical, when absorbed by the human body over a long period of time, is known to cause neurological problems that are permanent.

nPB is not the only risk to workers. In fact, 40,000 people in the U.S. die every year from problems caused by the air they breathed in American factors. Several people in Mississippi have been affected by fumes caused by nPB and yet many companies continue to use it in the construction of furniture because it dries quickly and is relatively inexpensive.

While there are risks in every job a person performs, American employees have the right to work in a clean environment. Anyone suffering with medical conditions from exposure to harmful chemicals and fumes may want to talk with an attorney.

Source: The New York Times, "As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester," Ian Urbina, March 30, 2013

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