Additional chemicals used in the iron and steel industry

Author:International Labour Organization
Annex VI
Additional chemicals used in the
iron and steel industry
Short-term (acute) inhalation causes severe irritation of the respiratory tract. Skin contact
results in burns, blistering and, possibly, permanent scarring of the skin. Eye contact causes
irritation and, possibly, corrosive injury.
Short-term (acute) inhalation causes depression of the central nervous system, marked by
drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of coordination, confusion and unconsciousness.
Long-term exposure to benzene reduces the number of red and white blood cells and damages bone
marrow. Benzene is carcinogenic.
Carbon monoxide
Inhalation of carbon monoxide causes symptoms including headache, weakness, dizziness,
nausea, fainting, increased heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness and death.
If inhaled, chlorine causes severe breathing difficulties and pulmonary oedema. It can
aggravate respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and asthma.
Short-term (acute) inhalation can cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and
confusion. In very high concentrations, unconsciousness and death can result. Ingestion of
extremely large doses may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and headache.
Short-term (acute) exposure through the inhalation of vapour can cause severe irritation of the
nose, throat and windpipe. Formaldehyde solutions can cause primary irritation resulting in tingling,
drying and reddening of skin. Eye contact results in irritation and tingling of the eye; concentrated
solutions can cause severe eye injury.
Ingestion of formaldehyde causes irritation, severe pain in the mouth, throat, oesophagus and
intestinal tract. Later symptoms can include dizziness, depression and coma.
Long-term (chronic) exposure through inhalation causes irritation of mucous membranes and
the upper respiratory tract. Long-term skin contact causes skin allergy.
Hydrogen cyanide
Short-term (acute) inhalation or ingestion causes weakness, headache, giddiness, dizziness,
confusion, anxiety, nausea and vomiting. High concentrations can cause death within minutes or
hours. There may be a bitter, pungent, burning taste in the mouth.
Long-term (chronic) exposure causes a persistent runny nose, weakness, dizziness, giddiness,
headache, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, throat irritation, changes in taste and smell, muscle
cramps, weight loss, flushing of the face and enlargement of the thyroid gland.

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