Although you may be from New Jersey or New York, your role on a container ship may take you all over the world. The U.S. National Institutes of Health reports that cargo moving from one country to another requires fumigation to prevent health hazards from being transported along with the goods, or to keep food from ripening too soon. Your exposure to these toxins could cause you serious problems. Our team at Hofmann & Schweitzer have counseled many seamen who have been affected by their work environment on container ships.
Working on a fumigated ship does not necessarily put you in danger. Your own physical sensitivities to the substances used play a role in how you respond to them. How long you are exposed to the toxins and how concentrated they are will also make a difference. Acute exposure could cause permanent health damage.
You may not experience immediate symptoms upon exposure, which could confuse the issue when you finally seek medical attention. It could also lead you to continue to work in a dangerous situation without realizing that the longer you are there, the more your health is at risk. Signs that you may be suffering as a result of exposure include the following:
- Memory and concentration problems
- Headaches and dizziness
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Sensory changes
- Mood swings or depression
You may be more likely to have a correct diagnosis and treatment plan if you can find a doctor who is familiar with maritime exposure risks in the workplace. More information about health challenges for workers on container ships is available on our web page.