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Wisconsin Toxic Chemicals

Posted by Tamara

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a hazardous chemical as anything that can cause harm. Most of these chemicals are used in every day life; dry cleaning solutions, isopropyl alcohol, paints and fuels, etc. OSHA has specific regulations for handling these chemicals.

All toxic and hazardous chemicals should be stored in properly labeled containers, preferably the original ones. All hazardous chemicals should have a MSDS (material safety data sheet) stored with it. Lastly, all employers should receive training about the chemical, its dangers, how to use and store it, and what steps to take if the chemical is accidentally ingested, splashed in the eyes or on the skin.

Safely storing and labeling hazardous chemicals in the Wisconsin workplace is of the highest priority.

Unfortunately, incidents of workers storing chemicals in milk jugs, soft drink containers or sports bottles are on the rise, according to OSHA. This puts other coworkers and the public at risk, especially children.

A six year old boy picked up water bottle and took a drink of what he thought was water. It was a potent pesticide. He is in intensive care in the pediatric unit and breathing via a ventilator.

Poison control centers report that many children every year are seriously harmed when they mistake a chemical in a soft drink bottle or milk jug for a beverage.

Adults have been harmed as well. Patricia Gabrysiak in Illinois mistakenly drank battery acid. The plumber had left supplies in her house to install a pump in her basement. These supplies consisted of three bottles, a one gallon water jug, a liter water bottle, and a ginger ale bottle. The ginger ale bottle contained acid for the pump’s battery.

Somehow the ginger ale bottle wound up in Mrs. Gabrysiak’s kitchen. She took a drink and promptly collapsed. She was rushed to the hospital and treated for severe burns in her esophagus and throat. If the plumber had used proper containers and/or properly labeled the products, this incident could have been avoided.


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