Hazardous Materials Essay.

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Details: A worker is exposed to a hazardous material at a level that is about 2/3 of the allowable limit, yet is reporting symptoms consistent with exposure to the material. Explain this in terms of exposures and exposure limits, absorbed dose, sampling and analysis, individual factors, and other relevant factors. Describe at least one method used for sampling each of the following types of air contaminants: particulates such as dusts, mists, and fumes; vapors and gases; oxygen-deficient atmospheres; and flammable atmospheres.



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Exposure to hazardous material may contribute to various health hazards such as irritation, sensitization, kidney, and lung damages, burns, and heart ailments. Other materials may cause explosions or fires if improperly stored or handled.  It is the duty of managers and workers to observe occupational safety and health standards in executing the daily mandates.


Many exposures may be presented in the air; such may include particulates and dusts, vapors and gases, oxygen-deficiency, and flammable atmospheres. Some conditions may be described as less injurious than others depending on the exposure level. The lower explosive limit (LEL) may be described as the minimum concentration of a flammable gas or vapor that may ignite if the source is introduced (Taylor et al, 2004, P. 21). A situation that is immediately dangerous to life or health is an atmosphere poses an immediate life threat. This may result in immediate or irreversible severe health effects that would hamper escape from the confined space. The presence of symptoms consistence to exposure of each of the hazardous materials means that the person had been exposed to such environments for a period long enough for contamination to take place (McCammon & Woebkenberg, 2007).


Injurious atmosphere pose safety hazards due to flammable gases, vapors, or mists that exceed 10% of their LEL; an oxygen concentration below 19.5% or above 23%; or any other substance in the atmosphere that may be life threatening. Work place hazards should be recognized, evaluated, and Controlled. The control of hazardous environments ranges from the individual level to management level, some of the management roles in reducing workplace contamination may include job rotation, task timing, and employee training. Individual controls include wearing of protective equipment, compliance with OSHA regulations, and avoiding toxic environments.



There are various methods that can be used in sampling contaminants in the work place. When sampling particulates such as dusts, mists, and fumes, one may use cassette and membrane filter, this may be achieved through a high-flow pump.



One of the sampling methods for gases and vapors would be Infrared Spectrophotometry. In this method, an infrared spectrometer may be used to direct infrared radiations through samples and record the relative amounts of energy absorbed by the samples as a function of the frequency or wavelength of the infrared radiation. The selective absorption of the infrared produces an absorption spectrum. The spectra produced may then be analyzed relative to spectra from known substances. This method has various advantages, one of the advantages is the fact that it may detect and measure some compounds that may not be measured by other methods. The disadvantage is that it may be expensive or complicated (McCammon & Woebkenberg, 2007, P. 17).

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