The utilisation of data mining methods has become common in many fields. In occupational accident analysis, however, these methods are still rarely exploited. This study applies methods of data mining (decision tree and association rules) to the Finnish national occupational accidents and diseases statistics database to analyse factors related to slipping, stumbling, and falling (SSF) accidents at work from 2006 to 2007. SSF accidents at work constitute a large proportion (22%) of all accidents at work in Finland. In addition, they are more likely to result in longer periods of incapacity for work than other workplace accidents. The most important factor influencing whether or not an accident at work is related to SSF is the specific physical activity of movement. In addition, the risk of SSF accidents at work seems to depend on the occupation and the age of the worker. The results were in line with previous research. Hence the application of data mining methods was considered successful. The results did not reveal anything unexpected though. Nevertheless, because of the capability to illustrate a large dataset and relationships between variables easily, data mining methods were seen as a useful supplementary method in analysing occupational accident data.
The career and work arduousness of a population of retired iron ore miners and their contemporaries who continued to work were investigated to find out what aspects of work history were associated with disability pensioning. The retired group had entered the mining industry at a more advanced age than the referents. The retired miners had also started at more strenuous tasks. Later they changed to lighter tasks, but were less often promoted in their career. The risk of early retirement seems thus to be related to the essential indicators of one's progress in the mining vocation.
Increased metal mining in the Arctic region has caused elevated loads of arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), nickel (Ni), and sulfate (SO42-) to recipient surface or groundwater systems. The need for cost-effective active and passive mine water treatment methods has also increased. Natural peatlands are commonly used as a final step for treatment of mining influenced water. However, their permanent retention of harmful substances is affected by influent concentrations and environmental conditions. The effects of dilution, pH, temperature, oxygen availability, and contaminant accumulation on retention and leaching of As, Sb, Ni, and sulfate from mine process water and drainage water obtained from treatment peatlands in Finnish Lapland were studied in batch sorption experiments, and discussed in context of field data and environmental impacts. The results, while demonstrating effectiveness of peat to remove the target contaminants from mine water, revealed the risk of leaching of As, Sb, and SO42- from treatment peatlands when diluted mine water was introduced. Sb was more readily leached compared to As while leaching of both was supported by higher pH of 9. No straightforward effect of temperature and oxygen availability in controlling removal and leaching was evident from the results. The results also showed that contaminant accumulation in treatment peatlands after long-term use can lead to decreased removal and escalated leaching of contaminants, with the effect being more pronounced for As and Ni.
The applicability of an in situ incubation method in monitoring the effects of metal mining on early life stages of fish was evaluated by investigating the impacts of a biomining technology utilizing mine on the mortality, growth, and yolk consumption of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) embryos. Newly fertilized eggs were incubated from autumn 2014 to spring 2015 in six streams under the influence of the mine located in North-Eastern Finland and in six reference streams. Although the impacted streams clearly had elevated concentrations of several metals and sulfate, the embryonic mortality of the two species did not differ between the impacted and the reference streams. Instead, particle accumulation to some cylinders had a significant impact on the embryonic mortality of both species. In clean cylinders, mortality was higher in streams with lower minimum pH. However, low pH levels were evident in both the reference and the mine-impacted groups. The embryonic growth of neither species was impacted by the mining activities, and the growth and yolk consumption of the embryos was mainly regulated by water temperature. Surprisingly, whitefish embryos incubated in streams with lower minimum pH had larger body size. In general, the applied in situ method is applicable in boreal streams for environmental assessment and monitoring, although in our study, we did not observe a specific mining impact differing from the effects of other environmental factors related to catchment characteristics.
The Talvivaara mine in Eastern Finland utilizes microbe-induced heap leaching to recover nickel and other valuable metals (Zn, Cu, Co) from a black schist ore. In addition to the target metals, the ore contains uranium at a concentration of 17 mg/kg, incorporated as uraninite (UO2). Uranium oxidizes from the U(IV) to U(VI) state during leaching and dissolves as the uranyl ion (UO2(2+)) in the acidic pregnant leach solution. Mobilisation of uranium has caused sufficient concern that plans have been developed for uranium recovery. The aim of this study is to generate new data leading to a better understanding of the fate of its radiotoxic daughter nuclides, primarily (226)Ra, (210)Pb and (210)Po, in the mining process. It is shown that uranium daughters mostly remain in the heaps during the leaching process and are associated with secondary minerals, including jarosite, goethite and gypsum. Thorium and progeny ((232)Th plus (228)Th, (228)Ra) are also mainly retained. High sulphate concentrations in the acidic solutions limit the solubility of radium by incorporation in the crystal lattices of precipitated secondary sulphates. Electron probe microanalysis shows that goethite in the heaps is uraniferous, resulting from the adsorption of U(VI). After recovery of target metals, the pregnant leach solution is neutralized to further remove metal contaminants and the resulting slurries stored in a bunded tailings pond. The activity concentrations of thorium, radium, lead and polonium isotopes are generally low in the pond owing to prior retention by secondary minerals in the heaps. However, (238)U activity concentrations range up to 3375 Bq/kg, which exceeds the permitted value (1000 Bq/kg) for natural radionuclides of the (238)U series.
A retrospective cohort study was undertaken to investigate the cancer mortality of granite workers. The study comprised 1,026 workers hired between 1940 and 1971. The number of person-years was 20,165, and the number of deaths 235. During the total follow-up 46 tumors were observed and 44.9 were expected. An excess mortality from tumors was observed for the workers followed for 20 years or more, the greatest excess occurring during the follow-up period of 25-29 years (observed 11, expected 5.2). Of the 46 tumors, 22 were lung cancers (expected 17.1) and 15 were gastrointestinal cancers (expected 9.7), nine of which were cancers of the stomach (expected 6.0). Mortality from lung cancer was excessive for workers with at least 15 years since entry into granite work (latency) (21 observed and 9.5 expected), being highest during the follow-up period of 25-29 years (observed 8, expected 2.1). The results indicate that granite exposure per se may be an etiologic factor in the initiation or promotion of malignant neoplasms.
A fine fraction (FF) was mined from two Finnish municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills in Kuopio (1- to 10-year-old, referred as new landfill) and Lohja (24- to 40-year-old, referred as old landfill) in order to characterize FF. In Kuopio the FF (
This paper describes a case study for collecting digital footprint data for the purpose of health data mining. The case study involved 20 subjects residing in Finland who were instructed to collect data from registries which they evaluated to be useful for understanding their health or health behaviour, current or past. 11 subjects were active, sending 100 data requests to 49 distinct organizations in total. Our results indicate that there are still practical challenges in collecting actionable digital footprint data. Our subjects received a total of 75 replies (reply rate of 75.0%) and 61 datasets (reception rate of 61%). Out of the received data, 44 datasets (72.1%) were delivered in paper format, 4 (6.6%) in portable document format and 13 (21.3%) in structured digital form. The time duration between the sending of the information requests and reception of a reply was 26.4 days on the average.