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What are the differences between acute and chronic effects of workplace chemical exposure?


Chemical exposure in the workplace can cause dangerous short- and long-term health impairments and effects. Medical care providers separate effects of chemical exposure into two durations: acute and chronic.

Acute Workplace Chemical Exposure

Immediately after, or shortly after, exposure to a chemical symptoms and side effects appear in an individual. Acute side effects often are a result to a high level exposure over a short period of time, such as overexposure to potent cleaning supplies or a sudden spill. Acute does not always mean minor though. Acute chemical exposure could be a minor event or, as in a chemical spill, be fatal. In many cases, however, the effects can be reversed after exposure has ceased.

Chronic Workplace Chemical Exposure

Occurring over a longer period of time than acute, chronic workplace chemical exposure often involves low levels of exposure over a long period of time. For many that experience this type of exposure, the effects are not reversible. It is often difficult to find the relationship between the chemical exposure and illness due to the delay between exposure and onset of illness; however, it is not impossible.

Chemical exposure in the workplace is a dangerous event. Whether the exposure lasts over a long period of time or is a single event, the effects can be long lasting and even in some cases fatal. If you have been exposed to chemicals in the workplace, call our Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys today. We can help you understand your rights under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws and help you obtain compensation you need. Call us today at 888-807-WORK (9675) for a free consultation.