Effects of Hazardous Substances

Acute Effects

Acute health effects are quickly seen after exposure to high levels of the hazardous substance. For example, fiberglass can immediately cause itchiness and skin irritation. This is an acute effect.

Chronic Effects

disease, the common cold, flu

Chronic effects usually develop slowly. They occur as a result of long-term exposure to low levels of the substance. The effects often occur a long time after exposure. For example, if you breathe in a small amount of asbestos fibres, you won’t even notice. There are no acute effects. But if you inhale asbestos month after month, year after year, you greatly increase your chances of getting an asbestos related disease, such as lung cancer. This is a chronic effect.

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