Jobs in the petrochemical industry typically pay better than other jobs for those without a college degree or other specialized training. But there is a darker reason for that, as those who work in the industry are exposed to dangers that workers employed in other industries do not face.
Research and analysis done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) indicates that in addition to the very real physiological dangers caused by exposure to environmental hazards of petrochemical plants, there is a psychological component at play as well.
Risk is not only physical
Working around volatile and toxic chemicals can have a deleterious effect on those workers – even when there has been no leak or explosion. In many ways, the workers are simply waiting for an accident to happen – and worrying about the ill effects they may suffer from exposure.
LaPlace residents studied
In fact, a study is being conducted right now down in St. John the Baptist Parish to determine whether simply living in proximity to these sprawling petrochemical plants exposes residents to higher-than-average risks for developing certain cancers.
Louisiana health officials are going door-to-door in part of the industrial corridor nicknamed “Cancer Alley.” They are seeking feedback from residents living near the Denka Performance Elastomer plant to determine whether there is a causative link between airborne exposure to chloroprene, which likely is a carcinogen, and an increase in residents’ cancer risks.
How psychological stressors manifest
If you constantly feel as if you will be diagnosed with cancer due to workplace exposures, you may develop generalized stress symptoms and hyper-emotional responses to any perceived risk of cancer. Every cough and blemish can be the trigger for wildly fluctuating emotions that lead you to then begin experiencing physiological reactions.
This is true whether the dangers are real or merely perceived to be real. It’s been proven in other scenarios that environmental health hazards can be the catalyst of stress responses that beget negative health outcomes in some people.
Have you suffered damages from workplace exposures?
Being able to link your symptoms and diagnoses to workplace exposure is paramount for the success of any legal claim regarding your ill health or cancer diagnosis. Speaking to a legal professional can clarify your options for seeking civil redress in these matters.