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Occupational Exposure Risks to Nickel and Nickel Compounds in Puerto Rico

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure hazards in workplaces throughout the Caribbean.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

Workers in a number of industries can be exposed by breathing dust containing it, through skin contact, or by consuming contaminated food or water.

Nickel (Ni) is a naturally occurring element with many useful chemical and physical properties. Due to this, it is used in the production of countless products for industrial, consumer, marine, aerospace, military and other applications.
Pure nickel is a hard, silvery-white metal used to make stainless steel and other metal alloys. Nickel can also be combined with other elements to form nickel compounds. Nickel compounds are used for nickel plating, to color ceramics, to make some batteries and as catalysts.
According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers may be harmed from exposure to nickel with the level of exposure depending upon the dose, duration and work being done. Some examples of workers potentially at risk include:

  • Refinery workers in nickel processing plants
  • Jewelry and pawn shop workers who come in contact with nickel coins or jewelry
  • Factory workers in plants where nickel alloys are used
  • Workers who come in contact with tools and other nickel releasing surfaces

A common health effect of nickel exposure is an allergic reaction and approximately 10 to 20% of the population is sensitive to nickel according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR). The most common reaction is a skin rash at the site of contact. Less frequently, some people who are sensitive to nickel have asthma attacks following exposure. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that nickel metal may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen and that nickel compounds are known human carcinogens. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that some nickel compounds are carcinogenic to humans and that metallic nickel may possibly be carcinogenic to humans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that nickel refinery dust and nickel subsulfide are human carcinogens.
“Workers in a number of industries can be exposed by breathing dust containing it, through skin contact, or by consuming contaminated food or water,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “At Zimmetry, our industrial hygiene and environmental professionals are dedicated to protecting workers from these types of exposure risks and also keeping companies in regulatory compliance. We offer testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposures to a wide range of elements, chemical compounds and even biological hazards.”
Zimmetry has even sponsored an educational video about exposure risks to nickel and nickel compounds that can be seen at:
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.

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 Puerto Rico
 Industrial Hygiene
 Air Testing
 Occupational Health
 Occupational Safety

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