Why do I need health surveillance? I've been using chemicals for years and never had any side effects.

Because prolonged exposure to harmful substances can cause chronic ill health, and symptoms do not always develop immediately.

For example, long-term use of two-pack spray paints containing a fixer called isocyanates can cause chronic asthma. The condition can develop suddenly, when you become 'sensitised' to the chemicals. The fine airborne mist involved in unprotected, uncontrolled spraying with two-pack paints is one of the main causes of occupational asthma in the UK. 

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.