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Avatar universal

working in the lab

Hello, I am a female in my late 20s. I work in a lab with chemicals such as acetonitrile and methanol on a daily basis. I tried avoiding it but I smell them all the time, do you think there will be any short term and long term effects?? Thanks a lot.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello,

Please see below regarding links to detailed information about acetonitrile and methanol.

http://www.epa.gov/chemfact/s_acenit.txt

http://www.epa.gov/chemfact/s_methan.txt

Acetonitrile and methanol are very different chemicals. However, both chemicals can be very dangerous if you have a significant exposure.

What type of work do you do in the lab?

How do you interact or use these chemicals?

Do you wear protective equipment such as a gown, eye protection, gloves?

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Avatar universal
Hi Dr Parks,

Thank you for replying my question. I do wear all of the protective equipment you suggested, but I am still exposed to it through inhalation. Since I have started working there, I have experienced headaches, hand tremors and dehydration (nostrils and throat dryness). What do you think I can do to protect myself against these organic solvents and help relieve these symptoms?

Thanks!!
Avatar universal
Hello again,

Do your colleagues or co-workers have similar symptoms to the ones that you describe in your posting?

Are you able to approach your manager/supervisor to inquire about things such as ventilation or whether or not the hoods are functioning correctly?

As I asked before....

What type of work do you do in the lab?

How do you interact with or use these chemicals?

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Avatar universal
Hi Dr Parks,

Thanks for your response. I wear protective clothing such as lab coat and gloves in the lab, and I am careful when handling chemicals so I would say the majority of exposure would be due to inhalation. A month ago, my nose and throat became really congested and dry, do you think I am not suitable to work in the lab, or do you think I will get used to it eventually?
Also, would this cause nose and throat cancer??

Thanks,
Ardene
Avatar universal
P.S. I do analytical chemistry. The lab is pretty dry too, so do you think my nose and throat are dry from the environment, or is it an irritation from chemical exposure? I even had a nosebleed, and I hardly have nosebleeds prior to working in the lab.
Avatar universal
Hello again,

Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to say whether or not it is suitable for you to work in the lab.

Dry air (air with low humidification) may result in dry nasal passages. Often, chemical exposures to vapors affect all mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, throat, airways).

Do any of your co-workers have symptoms that are similar to your symptoms?

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

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