Hazardous Substance Monitoring

In agriculture many workers are exposed to hazardous substances on a daily basis. In addition to this, the best way to protect against any type of hazardous substances is with the proper protective gear. This could include gloves, coveralls, etc. It is important, however, that the equipment and clothing be cared for properly; otherwise they may cause cross-contamination affecting other workers or the worker's family. The proper laundering of work clothing can greatly reduce exposure of toxic chemicals.

The first step in worker protection is compliance with applicable local and national laws and regulations. The employers must obtain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any substance that is used in the workplace. It can be obtained from the manufacturers of the substance and should be available to workers for their review. The MSDSs give detailed information about the tox-icity of the product and the proper precautions that must be taken while using the substances. If the substance lacks a specific OSHA standard exposure guideline, the one proposed by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists should be met.

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