The blue mussel (Mytilus sp.) has been used to assess the potential biological effects of the discharge effluent from the Omya Hustadmarmor mine, which releases its tailings into the Frænfjord near Molde, Norway. Chemical body burden and a suite of biological effects markers were measured in mussels positioned for 8?weeks at known distances from the discharge outlet. The biomarkers used included: condition index (CI); stress on stress (SoS); micronuclei formation (MN); acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibition, lipid peroxidation (LPO) and Neutral lipid (NL) accumulation. Methyl triethanol ammonium (MTA), a chemical marker for the esterquat based flotation chemical (FLOT2015), known to be used at the mine, was detected in mussels positioned 1500?m and 2000?m downstream from the discharge outlet. Overall the biological responses indicated an increased level of stress in mussels located closest to the discharge outlet. The same biomarkers (MN, SoS, NL) were responsible for the integrated biological response (IBR/n) of the two closest stations and indicates a response to a common point source. The integrated biological response index (IBR/n) reflected the expected level of exposure to the mine effluent, with the highest IBR/n calculated in mussels positioned closest to the discharge. Principal component analysis (PCA) also showed a clear separation between the mussel groups, with the most stressed mussels located closest to the mine tailing outlet. Although not one chemical factor could explain the increased stress on the mussels, highest metal (As, Co, Ni, Cd, Zn, Ag, Cu, Fe) and MTA concentrations were detected in the mussel group located closest to the mine discharge.
BACKGROUND: The association between occupational quartz exposure and ventilatory function was investigated in men in a general population after adjusting for other potential determinants of outcome. METHODS: All eligible men aged 30-46 years living in western Norway (n = 45,380) were invited to a cross sectional community survey. This included a self administered questionnaire (with respiratory symptoms, smoking habits and occupational exposures), spirometric recordings (using dry wedge below spirometers), and a chest radiograph (65% attendance). Measurements of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were obtained in 91% (n = 26,803) of those who participated, 26,106 of whom performed successful spirometric tests and had normal chest radiographs and remained for further analysis. Age, body mass index, and technician standardised residuals ((observed minus predicted value)/residual standard error) of maximum FEV1/height2 and FVC/height2 were used as outcome variables for adjusted lung function levels, respectively. RESULTS: Occupational quartz exposure was reported by 13% (n = 3445) of those who participated in the survey, with a mean duration of seven years. Among those exposed to quartz, significant inverse linear relationships were observed between years of exposure and FEV1 level and the ratio of FEV1/FVC, independent of host characteristics. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that the difference in FEV1 associated with each year of quartz exposure was -4.3 ml (95% CI -1.1 to -7.5 ml; p = 0.01) compared with -6.9 ml (95% CI -4.7 to -9.1 ml; p
During 1960-94 tailings from an ilmenite mine in southwest Norway were placed in sea deposits in a sheltered fjord and a more exposed coastal basin. In 2015 both deposit sites were sampled to assess the state of metal contamination and macrobenthic communities 20-30?years after deposition was ended. The results showed that nickel and copper still exceeded environmental quality standards in sediment and pore water from the 0-1?cm layer, and fluxes of nickel, copper and cobalt to the overlying water was high compared to adjacent reference stations. Fauna communities were classified as good, but moderate disturbance was recorded along an environmental gradient defined by depth and tailings-induced parameters such as particle size and copper. The results were interpreted in terms of current discharges, biological sediment reworking and near-surface leaching of metal sulphides. No evidence was found for recycling of metals from tailings buried below the bioturbated surface layer.
The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of cancer among 318 male employees of a niobium mining company which was only operated between 1951 and 1965. Many of the workers, especially underground miners, were exposed to the daughters of radon and thoron and also to thorium. The accumulated doses to the workers from short-lived radon and thoron daughters in the mine atmosphere were assessed to be relatively low; up to 300 working-level months. During the follow-up period 1953-1981, 24 new cases of cancer were observed compared to an expected number of 22.8. Twelve cases of lung cancer had occurred versus 3.0 expected. Among the 77 miners, 9 cases of lung cancer were observed against 0.8 expected. Associations between the occurrence of lung cancer and exposure to alpha radiation and smoking were found. For the radon and thoron daughter exposure, about 50 excess cases per million person-years at risk per working-level month were observed.
Submarine tailing disposal (STD) of mining waste is practiced as an alternative to land fill disposal in several countries. Knowledge regarding the environmental implications of STD on fjord and other marine ecosystems, including the pelagic environment, is scarce. In this study, we characterised the particle shape, size and metal content of the fine-grained fraction of tailings (FGT) from a Norwegian marble processing plant and investigated their acute toxicity and impact on feeding rate in adult Calanus finmarchicus. Initial tailing dispersions with a concentration of 1 mg mL(-1) contained approximately 72 million particles, with 62% of particles between 0.6 and 1 µm in size. After a sedimentation time of 1 h, 69% of the particles between 0.6 and 5 µm remained dispersed, decreasing to 22% after 6 h. When subjected to low energy turbulence in exposure experiments, the formation of fragile agglomerates was observed. The FGT contained Al, Mn, Fe and Ni, with no detectable dissolution occurring during the 48 h exposure period. Acute exposure (up to 5 g L(-1)) to FGT caused no mortality in C. finmarchicus. Similarly, feeding rates determined during a 40 h depuration period, were not significantly impacted. However, surface attachment and uptake of FGT into the digestive tract of the copepods was observed. This indicates that, whilst marble FGT are not acutely toxic to copepods, chronic effects such as impacts on organism's energy budgets could occur, highlighting the need for further research on potential sublethal effects in organisms exposed to fine inorganic particles.
Personal air measurements of aerosols and gases among tunnel construction workers were performed as part of a 11-day follow-up study on the relationship between exposure to aerosols and gases and cardiovascular and respiratory effects.
Ninety tunnel construction workers employed at 11 available construction sites participated in the exposure study. The workers were divided into seven job groups according to tasks performed. Exposure measurements were carried out on 2 consecutive working days prior to the day of health examination. Summary statistics were computed using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), and the procedure NLMIXED and LIFEREG in SAS was used to perform MLE for repeated measures data subject to left censoring and for calculation of within- and between-worker variance components.
The geometric mean (GM) air concentrations for the thoracic mass aerosol sub-fraction, a-quartz, oil mist, organic carbon (OC), and elemental carbon (EC) for all workers were 561, 63, 210, 146, and 35.2 µg m(-3), respectively. Statistical differences of air concentrations between job groups were observed for all contaminants, except for OC, EC, and ammonia (P > 0.05). The shaft drillers, injection workers, and shotcreting operators were exposed to the highest GM levels of thoracic dust (7061, 1087, and 865 µg m(-) (3), respectively). The shaft drillers and the support workers were exposed to the highest GM levels of a-quartz (GM = 844 and 118 µg m(-3), respectively). Overall, the exposure to nitrogen dioxide and ammonia was low (GM = 120 and 251 µg m(-) (3), respectively).
Findings from this study show significant differences between job groups with shaft drilling as the highest exposed job to air concentrations for all measured contaminants. Technical interventions in this job should be implemented to reduce exposure levels. Overall, diesel exhaust air concentrations seem to be lower than previously assessed (as EC).
Dietary studies based on 24 h recalls were carried out on four oil installations in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Two hundred and three persons were interviewed about what they had eaten the previous 24 h. Food purchased for the installations in the previous 5 months was recorded. Results based on 24 h recalls showed that average daily intake of energy was 12.2 MJ of which 17% came from protein, 44% from fat and 39% from carbohydrate, including 8% from sugar. Meat, vegetables, fresh fruits, seafood (shellfish), french fries, eggs, cream and ice-cream were important components of the diet, while bread, fish and cereals played a minor role. Average daily intake (mg) of nutrients were: calcium 1244, iron 15, vitamin A 1049 micrograms, vitamin D 4.1 micrograms, thiamin 1.6, riboflavin 2.2, nicotinic acid 22, ascorbic acid 143. Dietary fibre intake, estimated as unavailable carbohydrate, was on average 19 g, and the average daily intake of cholesterol was 755 mg. Intakes were compared with the Norwegian recommended dietary allowance. Most of the employees chose a diet which when eaten over a longer period of time may contribute to the development of coronary heart diseases (CHD) and thereby increase the morbidity and mortality from CHD in the oil industry.
A combination of local (i.e. firefighting training facilities) and remote sources (i.e. long-range transport) is assumed to be responsible for the occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic). However, no systematic elucidation of local PFASs sources has been conducted yet. Therefore, a survey was performed aiming at identifying local PFAS pollution sources on the island of Spitsbergen (Svalbard, Norway). Soil, freshwater (lake, draining rivers), seawater, meltwater run-off, surface snow and coastal sediment samples were collected from Longyearbyen (Norwegian mining town), Ny-Ålesund (research facility) and the Lake Linnévatnet area (background site) during several campaigns (2014-2016) and analysed for 14 individual target PFASs. For background site (Linnévatnet area, sampling during April to June 2015), SPFAS levels ranged from 0.4 to 4 ng/L in surface lake water (n?=?20). PFAS in meltwater from the contributing glaciers showed similar concentrations (~?4 ng/L, n?=?2). The short-chain perfluorobutanoate (PFBA) was predominant in lake water (60-80% of the SPFASs), meltwater (20-30%) and run-off water (40%). Long-range transport is assumed to be the major PFAS source. In Longyearbyen, five water samples (i.e. 2 seawater, 3 run-off) were collected near the local firefighting training site (FFTS) in November 2014 and June 2015, respectively. The highest PFAS levels were found in FFTS meltwater run-off (118 ng/L). Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) was the most abundant compound in the FFTS meltwater run-off (53-58% PFASs). At the research station Ny-Ålesund, seawater (n?=?6), soil (n?=?9) and freshwater (n?=?10) were collected in June 2016. Low SPFAS concentrations were determined for seawater (5-6 ng/L), whereas high SPFAS concentrations were found in run-off water (113-119 ng/L) and soil (211-800 ng/g dry weight (dw)) collected close to the local FFTS. In addition, high SPFAS levels (127 ng/L) were also found in freshwater from lake Solvatnet close to former sewage treatment facility. Overall, at both FFTS-affected sites (soil, water), PFOS was the most abundant compound (60-69% of SPFASs). FFTS and landfill locations were identified as major PFAS sources for Svalbard settlements.
BACKGROUND: Pollution from industry assumed new dimensions when large-scale industry and mining were established in Norway towards the end of the nineteenth century. The present article discusses how the local health administration responded to the first extensive industrial pollution of air and water. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Two chemical factories producing wood pulp and one abandoned nickel mine are studied by means of information from court records and municipal archives. RESULTS: New forms of large quantity pollutants and their great spreading capacity were not anticipated in the Health Act of 1860. The legislation at the time had ambiguous points which made it difficult to apply in cases of industrial pollution. One major problem was reliable documentation of adverse health effects. INTERPRETATION: Neither central nor local medical authorities had adequate competence to exert the professional influence required. In spite of this, local health commissions acted with considerable authority in the early 1890s. Within a few years, however, the health aspects were down-played because of the strong economic and political interests behind the new industries. The principal difficulties emerging in the 1890s with industrial pollution eventually lasted for nearly one hundred years.