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Workplace Exposures


Sulfur, chloropicrin, methyl bromide / methyl iodide. In California, 180 ... summertime, cold in wintertime. But an Indian laborer costs 1% of what we must pay. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Workplace Exposures

Workplace Exposures Injustices
  • Ashley Smith
  • Olga Theodossis
  • Fernando Vazquez
  • Mandi Yuen
  • Jason Zaragoza

Farm Workers
  • Jason Zaragoza

  • Health Hazards
  • Exposure to pesticides
  • Sulfur, chloropicrin, methyl bromide / methyl
  • In California, 180 million pounds of
  • pesticide were used in 2004
  • Heat exposure dehydration
  • Last summer 5 workers died from
  • heat in the Central Valley
  • Workers dont get breaks as required
  • No health benefits or job security
  • Poor living conditions
  • Up to 1/3 live in informal dwellings with no
    legal address

  • Why is does this happen?
  • Regulations not enforced
  • Lack of resources
  • Indifference on the part of government
  • Over 50 of workers are undocumented
  • An estimated 96 of workers are Mexican or
    Central American
  • Language barrier between workers and union /
    legal reps
  • New immigrants increasingly dont speak English
    or Spanish as a first language
  • Growers use contractors to shift responsibility

  • Organizations
  • United Farm Workers (UFW)
  • Started by Cesar Chavez during the 1960s
  • Lately has spent more efforts at political
    lobbying instead of organizing workers
  • Currently only 2 of workers are unionized
  • California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA)
  • Provides legal defense at no charge
  • Cannot provide services to undocumented workers
  • New Grassroots Organizations
  • Bi-National Oaxacan Indigenous Front
  • Popular Unity Committee

Construction Work
  • Mandi Yuen

  • An overwhelming number of construction workers
    are being exposed to various hazardous materials.
    They are subject to environmental injustices due
    to 3 factors
  • Most construction workers are minorities and they
    are assigned to jobs that expose them to various
    hazardous materials
  • Most of the minority workers have
  • low education levels
  • Majority of such workers have
  • low income

  • Minority male construction workers had the
    highest occupational mortality rate among
    construction workers because
  • Minority construction workers are assigned
  • to jobs known to expose them to hazardous
  • Example of how minority workers are
  • treated in sewer and wastewater plants
  • Data shows workers are exposed to various
    hazardous materials such as chemicals, fumes, and
    biochemical agents


Lead Paint

Asbestos Fibers
  • Environmental injustice in the form of low
    education level
  • Illiteracy leading to inability to read warning
    labels and hazardous warnings on job
  • Not informed and unaware of hazardous exposures
    and dangers
  • Not informed of the early
  • symptoms of hazardous
  • exposures leading to delay
  • treatments

  • Environmental injustice in the form of
  • low income
  • Willing to accept any work at
  • any risks
  • No medical benefits leading to
  • delay of treatments

  • Conclusion
  • The data proves there is still environmental
    injustice in the construction industry

Fumes at Construction Workplace
Ship BreakingFernando Vazquez
  • The health risks and effects
  • Asbestos When workers remove shipping insulation
  • they are exposed to asbestos which cause workers
    to have
  • asbestosis, and lung cancer.
  • Mercury Muscle and kidney damage, depression,
    and nervousness, mouth and gum inflammation
    personality changes uncontrollable shaking of
    the arms and legs.
  • Lead Anemia and damage the bones, blood, kidney,
    and gastrointestinal system.
  • Arsenic A toxic heavy metal that can cause
    vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and lung cancer.
    Moreover, contacting the metal can result towards
    swelling of the skin.

  • The health risks and effects (continued)
  • Chromium Exposure to these transition metals can
  • from dust or fumes. Symptoms include lung
    cancer, eczema,
  • and sores in the throat and mouth.
  • Dioxins When workers are exposed to electrical
    equipment fires or burning of PVCs. Symptoms
    include chloracne (skin rash) and also affects
    the nervous system (prenatal and postnatal). Due
    to being insoluble but soluble to fatty tissue of
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) When
    shipyard workers use torches to remove the steel.
    These fumes are made up of derivatives and
    carcinogenic, which affect the health of shipyard
    workers by having symptoms of malignant tumors.
    It also damages the stomach, intestines, skin,
    and lungs.
  • Polychlorinated Organic Compounds (PCBs) When
    shipyard workers dismantle or burn cable
    insulation, capacitators, anchor windlasses, and
    transformers. They damage their immune system,
    reproductive impairment, liver, and can also get

  • Workers are killed by dismantling ships
  • Praful Bidwai of New Delhi, stated Alangs boom
    is fueled by blood, of forty-thousand wretchedly
    poor men with crushed fingers, broken limbs,
    severe burns, and little hope in their hearts.
  • An explosion claimed the lives of forty workers
    when an oil tanker exploded in Alang, India.

  • Unreasonable Pay For Workers
  • In the Canadian Business, Matthew McLearn stated
  • unskilled laborer in third world breaking yards
    can cost one-hundred dollars a month.
  • In 2002 the international federation
  • for human rights reported that
  • shipyard workers were earning
  • between 1.25 to 3.10 a day.

  • Unreasonable Pay For Workers
  • (Continued)
  • President Wayne Elliot of IMG stated benefits,
    employment insurance and all else considered, it
    cost 25 an hour to employ a Canadian breaker- if
    you could find one. Its hard physical work, hot
  • summertime, cold in wintertime.
  • But an Indian laborer costs 1
  • of what we must pay.

  • Policies And Organizations To
  • Protect Workers
  • Organizations
  • Green Peace
  • International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Policies
  • Basel Convention

  • Efforts Underway Towards Justice
  • Green Peace
  • BAN

The Truth Behind Nail Salons
The Majority of Nail Technicians are
  • Californias 34,000 licensed nail technicians --
    a group that's 85 percent Vietnamese and
    overwhelmingly female -- face health hazards due
    to overexposure to toxic chemicals.
  • A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    (EPA) report lists 26 potentially dangerous
    chemicals found in nail products. Most are highly
    volatile and evaporate easily at room
  • The EPA report says that prolonged exposure to
    any of these chemicals could be harmful, with
    possible health effects ranging from minor rashes
    to cancer. But the extent of health risks to
    salon workers is largely unknown.

A Few Dangerous Chemicals Found In Nail Products
(Which are Solvents)
  • Acetones
  • Ketones
  • Xylenes
  • Toluene
  • Butyl Acetate
  • Titanium dioxide

What Is A Solvent?
  • A substance (usually liquid) suitable for, or
    employed in, solution, or in dissolving
    something as, water is the appropriate solvent
    of most salts, alcohol of resins, ether of fats,
    and mercury or acids of metals, etc.

  • AcetoneColorless, flammable liquid. Used in nail
    polish, nail polish removers. It is excessively

  • KetonesThese odorous substances, used in nail
    polish removers, are toxic.

  • xylenePronunciation z - l nFunction noun
    any of three toxic flammable oily isomeric
    aromatic hydrocarbons C8H10 that are dimethyl
    homologues of benzene and are usually obtained
    from petroleum or natural gas distillates also
    a commercial mixture of xylenes used chiefly as a

  • TolueneUsed as a solvent in cosmetics,
    especially nail polish, and also dyes. It is used
    in pharmaceuticals and gasoline as a blending
    agent. It is toxic and narcotic in high

Butyl Acetate
  • Butyl AcetateA toxic solvent used in nail polish
    and many other products.

Health Effects of Solvents
Neurotoxicity Memory loss Decreased
problem-solving ability Decreased attention
span Impaired dexterity and hand-eye
coordination Altered reaction time Reduced
psychomotor function Carcinogenicity Liver
and Kidney Effects Respiratory Effects
Cardiac Effects Dermal Effects
Is The EPA Doing Anything About This???
  • The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's)
    Nail Care Partnership began in response to worker
    and community concerns regarding the health
    effects of chemicals routinely used in nail
    salons. EPA's Region 6 office in Texas in
    collaboration with the EPA's Design for the
    Environment (DfE) Program is partnering with all
    aspects of the nail care industry to investigate
    and encourage the use of safer, cleaner, more
    efficient practices and technologies to reduce or
    eliminate the risks of chemical exposures for
    customers and employees at nail salons.

  • Ashley Smith