1,687 registered captains and mates from a Norwegian census in 1970 were monitored up to 1987. By matching the data from the census with data from the Norwegian Cancer Registry we discovered 104 cases of cancer. A control group of 376 was chosen among those without cancer. A nested case-control study design was used. The material was analysed using multivariate logistic regression. Increased risk of developing cancer was found in the group of seamen who had been working on tankers, especially among seamen who had been working as mate on these tankers. Exposure to chemicals is the major factor distinguishing tankers from other ships. Mates are exposed to chemicals while captains are not. The study indicates the presence of carcinogenic agents on these tankers.
Poisonings constitute a serious health problem in Norway. The objective of the study was to analyse cases of poisoning reported to out-of-hours services and any changes that may have occurred over a ten-year period.
The material consists of reimbursement claims from all doctors on out-of-hours duty in Norway in the period 2006???15. Poisonings were defined as ICPC diagnostic codes A84 (poisoning by medical agent), A86 (toxic effect non-medicinal substance) or P16 (acute alcohol abuse).
The contact rate due to poisonings increased from 221 per 100 000 inhabitants in 2006 to 297 per 100 000 inhabitants in 2015. For the age group 1???2 years, the contact rate per 100 000 inhabitants dropped from 469 to 223, for the age group 15???25 it rose from 523 to 719, and for the age group 53???59 it rose from 178 to 339. The highest contact rate was found among women aged 15???25 (785 per 100 000 inhabitants). This group also had the highest contact rate caused by poisoning by a medical agent (238 per 100 000 inhabitants). In the age group 15???25 years, altogether 63% of the poisonings occurred during the night.
The frequency of contact with out-of-hours services because of poisoning is generally increasing, although a strong decline is observed among small children. Adolescents, and young women in particular, stand out in suffering frequent cases of poisoning.
BACKGROUND: The Poisons Information Centre receives many inquiries about acute exposures to chemical products. Our aim was to characterise the frequency and severity of such exposures and to raise awareness of chemicals that rarely cause poisoning, but may lead to serious systemic toxicity even in small amounts. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data were collected from inquiries to the Poisons Information Centre in the period 2004-2006 and from the Product Register on the use of selected chemicals. RESULTS: In 2004-2006, the Poisons Information Centre received 35,802 inquiries regarding acute exposures to chemicals or chemical products. Most of the exposures (72%) were assessed as non-toxic or involving risk of minor poisoning, while only 7.8% were assessed as involving risk of severe poisoning. The substances most frequently involved were cleaning agents, cosmetics/personal care products and hydrocarbon fuels, whereas risk of severe poisoning is related to alkali and hydrocarbon exposures. Poisonings with hydrofluoric acid and glycols/glycol ethers are rare, but the outcome is often severe. As many as 84% of the hydrofluoric acid exposures and 36% of the ingestions of ethylene glycol by children were assessed as involving risk of moderate or severe poisoning. INTERPRETATION: Exposure to chemicals or chemical products is frequent, but rarely leads to severe poisonings. Data from inquiries to the Poisons Information Centre are representative of the chemical exposure conditions. It is important to have detailed product information readily available to assure correct treatment after exposure incidents.
BACKGROUND: Norway has been an oil-producing nation for more than thirty years and a large number of Norwegians have been or are working on oil rigs. There are several chemical substances present on the oil platforms, and these factors may influence workers' health. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The international literature on offshore chemical exposure and health is summarised. RESULTS: The most important groups of chemical substances used on oil rigs are described: crude oil, production chemicals, asbestos and drilling chemicals. Different types of exposure during maintenance work are described as well. Very few exposure data are published. Acute, irritative health effects from chemical exposure are described, as well as chronic health effects like skin disorders and cancer. These workers seem to have a higher risk, that may be related to benzene exposure, of developing acute myelogenous leukemia. INTERPRETATION: Physicians who are treating patients working in the oil industry are advised to be aware of possible adverse health effects from the work environment on the rigs. Further exposure studies and research in this area are highly recommended, as the literature is scarce.