ToxicFree Foundation / Articles

Avoiding a toxic workplace

These days, toxicity in the workplace doesn’t just describe Jamie's contentious relationship with Alex after one of them threw the other's lunch away. In 2018, toxic chemicals are a real threat in the environment, at home, and in our workspaces. Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, eye irritation, nose, throat, and lung irritation can all be symptoms of exposure to toxins in a workplace that has “poor indoor air quality” according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Below are a few examples of what to look out for.


Most buildings constructed between 1930 and the 1970s were constructed using asbestos. Asbestos was used in almost everything, from insulation and roofing, down to the flooring and ceiling tiles. When it’s disturbed asbestos particles become airborne, and if inhaled could lead to mesothelioma cancer.


Is that musty smell your co-worker or does your office have mold? Even just a little mold can be harmful to those that are allergic to it. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), “those who are sensitive to mold can experience nasal stuffiness, coughing, and irritation of the throat, eyes, and skin when exposed.”

Knowing your rights:

Employees of a workplace do have rights. In fact OSHA requires “all workers have the right to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm, receive training about workplace hazards…” Employees are also allowed to file an official complaint with OSHA to “have their workplace inspected.”

A happy workplace doesn’t just mean cupcakes in celebration of a team member’s birthday, leaving work a little early near a holiday, or casual Fridays. Our companies also need to make employee health just as important as the bottom line.

If you’d like to file a Safety and Health Complaint through OSHA, visit this link:

To learn more about how you can protect yourself in a potentially toxic workplace, click here: