The humble trowel can can be forged in the heat of the furnace. Given strength by a shape suited to it's task and a coat of paint to minimize friction.
When used it performs well, loosening soil, transplanting seedlings, digging holes, shifting compost. And when left alone in the damp soil - a toxic environment -it isn't affected at first. The paint job keeps the moisture at bay.
But by sitting in that environment day in day out the moisture uses small scratches to get under the protective layer and slowly eats away at the trowel's strength until one day, when tasked to do the simplest of jobs, it breaks.
And as with the trowel so with all of us. We can create protective layers, develop skills to be multi purpose but sit in a toxic environment long enough and it will break you.
So how do you spot the toxic environment before it breaks you?