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【爱马斯全球】汽修行业的危害:汽修化学品

  Randy Bigness worked as an auto mechanic for years without much concern for his health. He was frequently fatigued, but he figured most mechanics got tired from working hard. Getting sick often also seemed like a common consequence of the profession he was in. It wasn’t until he started to develop more severe infections and his body started refusing antibiotics for treatment that he thought something else might be wrong.

  Randy从事汽修工作已经多年,却很少留意自己的健康。他经常性地感觉到疲劳,但他却认为这是大多数机修师在辛苦工作后常有的现象。在他所在的行业,生病似乎成了常态。直到疾病发展成了更严重的感染,身体开始拒绝各种抗生素时,他才意识到可能是哪里出现了问题。

  When Randy finally saw a specialist, he learned that he had a rare form of leukemia. This was a direct result of his exposure to chemicals in solvents and other auto shop chemicals. To save what was left of his health, Randy gave up his career in the automotive industry. In order to try and save other mechanics from the same fate, he became a musician to spread awareness about the dangers of automotive chemicals.

  Randy去看了专家医生,得知他患上了罕见的白血病!这是他长期直接接触各种化学溶剂的结果。为了自身的健康,Randy放弃了在汽修行业的工作。为了避免这样的命运发生在其他汽修师身上,他化身为一名音乐家,以传播汽修化学品的危害知识。

  What auto shop chemicals pose a risk?

  汽修商店中的哪些化学品会构成危害?

  There are many chemicals present in the automotive industry that have the risk of serious side effects if workers are not properly protected. Randy’s leukemia was caused by a chemical called benzene, frequently found in many petroleum-based products. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Long-term exposure [to benzene] may affect bone marrow and blood production. Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness, and death.” Those are the effects of one hazardous chemical. Auto mechanics are working with a wide variety of dangerous chemicals in petroleum-based products, brake cleaner, auto paints, fuels, oils, and solvents.

  如果汽修师们没有做好适当的防护,汽修行业的很多化学物质都会对他们造成严重的副作用。导致Randy白血病的罪魁祸首就是苯,常用于石油合成产品中。职业安全卫生管理局(OSHA)指出:“长期暴露在苯的环境中,可能会影响骨髓的造血功能。短时间暴露在含有高浓度苯的空气中,会导致嗜睡、头晕、神志不清甚至死亡。”这些都是化学试剂产生的危害。汽修师常与多种危险的化学用品打交道,如:石油合成产品,刹车清洁剂,汽车油漆,燃料,汽油和溶剂。

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  What auto shop chemicals pose a risk?

  汽修商店中的哪些化学品会构成危害?

  With repeated exposure to these chemicals, the damage can be permanent. For one Canadian mechanic who was frequently exposed to a mixture of solvents, the effects went beyond his physical health. Patrick developed neuro-affective disorder due to chemical exposure that resulted in drastic personality shifts. He became hostile and hot-headed, especially towards his family, while his ability to concentrate dwindled. The damage his brain suffered could have been prevented, but instead it is permanent. Patrick worked with chemicals in a non-ventilated work area and he didn’t wear personal protective equipment such as disposable gloves. If he and his employer had been aware of the risks, they could have taken steps to protect Patrick’s health.

  若一直接触化学试剂,所造成的危害可能是长久的。如,一位加拿大的汽修师,常常接触混合溶剂,这影响到了他的健康状况。Patrick由于接触化学用品而导致神经性精神障碍,导致了剧烈的人格转变。当他集中思想的能力被削弱时,他变得易怒和冲动,对家人尤甚。对他头脑造成的伤害可以被阻止,但伤害却是长久的。Patrick的工作环境不通风,又要经常接触化学试剂,加上他不穿戴任何的防护设备包括一次性手套。如果他或者他的老板意识到了这点,他们会对Patrick的健康采取相应的措施。

  Shop owners and automotive supply distributors need to be aware of the safety concerns associated with automotive chemicals as they have a legal responsibility to protect workers. For some chemicals, such as isocyanates (found in auto paints) mechanics are aware of the respiratory risks. However, they may not be aware of the best ways to avoid skin exposure and other kinds of contamination. Side effects of exposure to isocyanates include dermatitis, chemical bronchitis, hives, and swelling. The Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) surveyed auto paint shops around the country and discovered that while 85% of their employees used gloves while painting, half preferred latex gloves for the comfortable fit and feel. What they are clearly not aware of is that latex gloves do not provide an adequate barrier against isocyanates: the chemical simply seeps right through the glove. Because contamination through the glove is not visible, workers may be unaware that their disposable gloves are not protecting them.

  作为汽修店店主和汽车经销商,他们有着相关的法律责任去保护他们的工人,他们应该意识到化学试剂对健康所造成的危害。某些化学试剂,如异氰酸酯(用于汽车油漆中)会造成呼吸道疾病。然而,雇主们可能没有想到避免皮肤接触和其他污染的最好方式。接触异氰酸酯的会引发皮炎,化学性支气管炎,麻疹和肿胀。安全健康评估与预防研究(SHARP)对全国的汽车店做了项调查,结果显示有85%的工人在刷漆时会佩戴手套,有一半的人使用贴手舒适的乳胶手套。但他们没有意识到的是,乳胶手套并不能隔离异氰酸酯所带来的伤害:这种化学物质能够侵蚀乳胶手套。又因为肉眼看不到这种通过手套产生的污染,工人们就不会发觉他们的一次性乳胶手套并不能起到保护作用。

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  Equally concerning is that some chemicals take a long time to dissipate. Isocyanates, in particular, are not water soluble and so they are not easily removed from skin or clothing. This means that if workers hands or clothing are covered with chemicals, they could spread them to other parts of the auto shop. These chemicals also don’t go away when employees leave work. Their shoes and clothes may contaminate their homes and affect their families.

  同样需要引起关注的是,弥漫在空气中的化学试剂要很长一段时间才能消除。异氰酸酯不溶于水,所以很难从手上和衣服上清洗掉。这就意味着,如果工人的手上或衣服上沾上了这种化学物,他们就有可能被传播到汽修店的其他角落。当工人们下班后这些化学物也不会消散。他们的鞋子,衣服可能给家里带来污染影响到家人。

  How Can Auto Mechanics Be Protected?

  怎样为汽修师提供防护?

  In order to protect workers and their families from these health concerns, auto shop owners need to purchase the proper personal protection equipment for their employees. This starts with auto distributors being aware of these workplace hazards and what kinds of equipment work best to protect against auto chemical exposure. For example, latex disposable gloves are a poor choice for the auto industry because latex is an organic material and therefore can be broken down by solvents and other auto shop chemicals. This is why auto paint chemicals (isocyanates) can still contaminate workers even if they are wearing disposable gloves.

  为了保护工人和家人的健康,汽修店雇主需要为工人们采购合适的个人防护装备。汽修分销商首先应意识到工作环境的危害和提升什么养的装备能够有效抵御化学接触时的伤害。如,对于汽修店来说,一次性乳胶手套就不是合适的选择,乳胶是一种有机材料,不耐溶剂和其他一些化学试剂的腐蚀。这也是为什么在工人们佩戴了一次性乳胶手套,异氰酸酯依然能够伤害他们的原因了。

  The best disposable glove material for the automotive industry is nitrile. Nitrile is a petroleum-based product and so it holds up best against the petroleum-based chemicals in auto shops (such as solvents). Nitrile gloves can still give mechanics the comfort they are looking for in a good pair of disposable gloves. The material actually heats up and conforms to the hand the longer workers wear the gloves. A raised diamond texture glove is more breathable than a non-textured glove, which can give workers a bit of added comfort. The texture also gives mechanics extra grip when working with wet tools or implements.

  丁腈手套是汽修行业的最佳选择。丁腈是一种石油提取物,所以他能有效隔离汽修行业石油相关的化学物质(比如一些溶剂)。丁腈手套还能给汽修师们提供他们所想要的舒适感。凸起的钻石纹理(如GWON)比无纹理的手套更加透气,它为工人们提供了更多的舒适度。这种纹理还能为工人们提供良好的干湿抓握力。

  Beyond disposable gloves, auto shop owners need to provide other personal protective equipment such as respirators. Proper shop ventilation is also vital to keeping workers safe. As long as steps are being taken to protect mechanics, the risks of exposure to auto shop chemicals can be mitigated. The first step is education for shop owners as well as the distributors who serve them.

  除了一次性手套,汽修店主还需提供其他的个人防护装备,如呼吸环境。车间的适当通风,是保证工人们安全的关键。只要采取了合适的保护汽修师的措施,那些接触化学试剂的风险就会减少。首先要迈出的一步,就是要对汽修店主和分销商们进行教育。


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