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For the vast majority of us, the greatest danger we’ll face at work will be no different than those we’d face out at the grocery store or mall… germs from other people who are sick and insist on “powering through”. 🙄 And for the most part, getting out and staying active is much better for our health than sitting home is. (It is good for Alphas to work!) In a few circumstances though, our workplace could pose a health hazard…

A variety of substances in the workplace cause health hazards. Exposure to them can pose serious risks for healthy individuals, as well as present increased risks for those with Alpha-1. It is important for individuals diagnosed with Alpha-1 to be aware of these risks and make appropriate occupational choices when possible. This is especially important for younger Alphas who are just starting out in their careers and can make more informed career and vocational choices. Choosing “Alpha-friendly” work environments and avoiding occupations that repeatedly expose you to toxic substances can reduce your risk of developing lung or liver disease.

Toxic substances in the work environment present themselves in varying physical forms such as smoke, gas, dust, liquids, vapors, or mists. The amount of exposure will affect the extent of damage sustained. Many substances pose dual risks for individuals with Alpha-1 because both the lungs and liver are vulnerable. While some hazards pose an immediate threat to health and life, others produce damage and ill effects after repeated and longstanding exposure. An example of a disease that develops after long-term exposure is silicosis, a serious lung disease seen in workers who are repeatedly exposed to silica dust. Another example is the development of hepatitis after repeated exposure to carbon tetrachloride among individuals who work in a confined space without protection of a respiratory mask.

In the presence of inadequate ventilation, breathing hazards can become readily visible as clouds of dust or fumes or detected as strong odors. These substances can also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. You should keep in mind that some harmful substances have no odor, such as carbon monoxide. Also, remember your sense of smell can become accustomed to odors after repeated exposures, and you may no longer be aware of it – even though the danger may stiII exist.

The bottom line here is that there can be things that hurt anyone in certain workplaces, but being an Alpha could heighten the risk. You will need to learn all you can about any possible dangers in your workplace and follow all safety precautions religiously to stay healthy.