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Risk of on-the-job injury and illness in the film industry

California is home to many people employed in the film industry, all of whom have the right to a safe workplace. Recent research indicates that these hardworking individuals could face an increased risk of illness because of toxic chemical exposure. Any time a person suffers from an on-the-job injury or illness caused by work conditions, he or she has the right to seek compensation.

This particular risk is associated with explosive squibs that are frequently used to simulate gunfire. The squibs are used quite frequently on some sets, but the danger lies in the fact that many types of squibs contain particles of lead. It is thought that these particles can settle in hair and on clothes, exposing actors and actresses to toxic lead exposure, which can cause illness.

There are squibs available that are made without lead particles. While industry regulations require that filmmakers perform air quality tests after using squibs, others point out that if there are safe alternatives available, they should be used instead. Researchers have determined that the squibs with lead could expose people to levels of toxins much higher than permissible according to standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Whether a person is an employee in an office, a famous actor on a movie set or a hired technician in the film industry, everyone has the right to a safe workplace. When toxic chemicals or other hazards cause illness or on-the-job injury, it is important to seek the help of a lawyer familiar with the California workers' compensation system. Lead exposure is serious, and affected workers may take steps to protect their rights.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "A toxic chemical lurks on film sets. Is it poisoning the crews?", Daniel Miller, May 10, 2016

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