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Injured on the job? Chemical exposure shows link to breast cancer

Workers in California may be interested in a review of studies done on the effects of exposure to harmful chemicals in the workplace. The review concentrates on female workers and the occupational links to breast cancer. While the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces many safety regulations to prevent workers from being injured on the job, some believe that not enough regulations exist to control exposure to toxic substances.

The review noted that, although exposure limits exist for some dangerous chemicals, regulations for many high-risk substances do not exist. After reviewing scientific studies done over 25 years, experts found definite links between breast cancer and over-exposure to toxic materials such as pesticides, solvents, ionizing radiation, and more. The report states that available research is inadequate, but enough evidence exists to justify additional attention to women's exposure to substances that may cause breast cancer.

The San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Fund contends that workers are regularly exposed to higher levels of chemicals than the levels that would be allowed in their homes. Considering the hours workers spend in their workplace environments, the exposure periods are also longer than in any commercial or residential setting. A call was made to Congress, researchers and regulators to address worker exposure to risk factors such as dangerous or toxic chemicals.

California workers who are suffering the consequences of such exposure are entitled to pursue compensation for medical expenses. However, to claim benefits from the workers' compensation insurance fund, victims will have to prove that their illnesses are work-related. Fortunately, experienced workers' compensation attorneys are typically able to gather the necessary information through the resources that are available to them. Victims of occupational diseases and those injured on the job will be guided through all the procedures for filing such claims.

Source: publicintegrity.org, "Report: cause for 'alarm' on possible work-related causes of breast cancer", Jim Morris, Aug. 6, 2015

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