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What is take-home toxic exposure?

If you work with or around toxic materials or substances, you know you need to protect yourself from toxic exposure. But did you know that your family can also be at risk? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that you can unknowingly carry toxins with you on your clothing, shoes, even your hair or skin. Once in your home, they can disperse throughout it, putting your family at risk of illness.

This type of toxic exposure, known as take-home toxic exposure, poses a substantial risk to your family’s health. Unfortunately, your children are most at risk because they tend to put things in their mouths. In addition, your very young children crawl around the floor where toxins can hide in carpeting, rugs and the dust that inevitably accumulates.

The most common types of toxins you are likely to bring into your home include the following:

  • Lead
  • Pesticides
  • Asbestos
  • Beryllium

Lead constitutes an especially dangerous substance for your children. It can cause them brain damage. It can likewise grievously harm your unborn child if you or your spouse is pregnant.

Your best interests and those of your family dictate that you take the following precautions if you work around toxic substances:

  • Wear protective clothing whenever possible.
  • Change your clothes and shoes before going home.
  • Take a shower before going home if your employer provides shower facilities.
  • If you must wear your work clothes home, change out of them in your garage before entering your home.
  • Leave your work clothes and shoes in the garage.
  • When washing your work clothes, wash them separately from the rest of your family’s laundry and re-run the rinse cycle after removing your clothes from the washer.

The cleaner you keep your home, the less likelihood your family will suffer from take-home toxic exposure.

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