Workers are more likely to be exposed to dangerous substances than they used to be, according to a study published Thursday in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The researchers analyzed occupational exposures data from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and compared the exposure data from 2000 to 2012.
Workers were also asked about their exposure to chemicals in their work environment.
The researchers found that in 2012, workers were exposed to a total of 13,093 chemicals in workplace settings, up from 8,066 in 2000.
Workers exposed to benzene in 2000 were exposed 7,942 times in 2012.
“These results are consistent with the idea that workers are more exposed to the potential toxicology and health effects of occupational exposure,” the study authors wrote.
The data was based on data from 12 states, and included data from employers and workers, as well as from other agencies.
The report analyzed exposures to various hazardous chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and acetone.
In some instances, workers exposed to more than one chemical were excluded from the study.
The findings are likely to lead to policy changes and more research into the long-term health effects.
The findings come as the industry has been struggling to make progress in fighting the effects of the opioid epidemic.
The Trump administration has also been trying to push back against lawsuits by unions and other groups claiming workers are being paid below-minimum wage.