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.
One of objective methods of early and differential diagnosis of occupational pulmonary diseases in miners (pneumoconiosis, silicotuberculosis, dust bronchitis) is bronchoscopy with a cytologic examination of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAF). BAF-examination was carried out in a total of 88 patients with incipient and advanced forms of dust bronchitis, pneumoconiosis and silicotuberculosis. A direct relationship has been revealed between a decline in local cell-bound immunity caused by a dust-inducted affection mononuclear phagocytes and advancing of stages of dust-related diseases.
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.