Chemical exposure can be long-term or short-term from routine work duties or from accidental chemical releases. The effects from chemical exposure can also be short-term or long-term, based on the duration and amount of exposure and the toxicity of the exposure. Not all people suffer adverse health reactions/effects any more than all people get allergic reactions to the same environment. People have varying degrees of sensitivity to chemical exposure and different chemicals.

The best way for workers to protect themselves is for them to know as much as possible about the chemicals they are likely to be exposed to and what hazards these chemicals may present. Because the science concerning chemical exposure on the human body is so limited, especially regarding the ways these chemicals in the workplace may interact, the worker should exercise caution and good judgment.

Workplace regulations are often a one-size-fits-all system when setting workplace exposure limits, which may not be appropriate for everyone, especially the more sensitive segments of the population such as pregnant women or those whose immune systems have been compromised for whatever reason. Workers who believe they are being adversely effected from chemical exposure should remove themselves from that environment, inform their employer, and seek medical attention, even consulting an Occupational Health Physician.

Regular physicians do not usually have the education or special training to diagnose and treat illnesses caused by chemical exposure.