Making a living for yourself and providing for your family is important, but one serious question you have to ask yourself is: is your job exposing you to harmful elements?

Years ago, the big concern for many workers was that asbestos levels were very high at a number of construction work sites. In many cases, the employers did not take the proper steps to protect the workers from it. The workers were more-than-likely unaware of the dangerous environment they were working in, and at the time they didn’t know the harm the asbestos was doing to their bodies.

Years later, these same workers who were being exposed to large amounts of asbestos every day now have mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer.

Coal miners are a group of workers who put their life and health on the line every time they go to work. These coal miners are exposed to methane and coal dust. This affects their lungs and breathing after time — the British miners call it Black Lung — and even their vision suffers as a result of being in the dimly lit environments, and having their eyes filled with the dust.

Employees at nuclear power plants who come into contact with deadly radioactive materials every day they go to work at the plant put themselves at risk. Even though they have uniforms designed to protect them from the radiation, they may be subject to small amounts of it in the process of changing in and out of the suits.

Package handlers who load the trucks for companies like FedEx and UPS expose themselves to harmful elements every night. There are some packages that come through the system that have hazardous material stickers on them, and the package is wet and dripping from the inside. The employees who don’t have gloves often touch these packages, not knowing exactly what they are handling. If they put their hands near their eyes or mouth, they can cause serious harm to themselves by ingesting something hazardous or poisonous.

These types of jobs are held by good people who just want to take care of their families. They don’t think about the fact that they’re being exposed to harmful elements on a daily basis, and that one day, this will affect their ability to take care of their families at all. Workers at these types of job need to take into account the repercussions of their work, and the effects these different elements will have on their bodies after months, or even years, of daily exposure.