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More workers died on the job as a result of inhaling chemicals in 2017 than the prior year, according to research released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
In 2017, 41 U.S. workers died on the job after a single episode of inhaling chemicals and chemical products, up from 34 in 2016, but lower than the decade high of 55 workers who died on the job from chemical inhalation in 2014.
A total of 297 workers have died from chemical inhalation in the past seven years, says the BLS, with carbon monoxide accounting for the majority of fatalities at 116 since 2011, followed by hydrogen sulfide, which led to 46 fatalities. Other chemicals that caused death from inhalation included toluene, solvents and degreasers, dichloromethane and coal, natural gas, petroleum fuels and products.
More than one-third of all fatalities from chemical inhalation occurred in a confined space.
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is deploying a four-person team to investigate an explosion and fire at a Philadelphia refinery complex.