OBJECTIVE: According to the Norwegian Road Traffic Act, car drivers are not allowed to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.2 g/kg. Depending on the size of the boat or ship, boat drivers/captains/first mates are not allowed to conduct the boat with a BAC above 0.8 g/kg when driving small boats (length less than 15 m) and above 1.5 g/kg when running larger vessels/ships. The new Sea Act of June 2005 states that captains/first mates cannot conduct a ship if he/she has a BAC above 0.2 g/kg. Our aim was to determine the current median BAC in a large population of car and boat drivers in Norway. Our other aim was to study if median BAC was higher in boat drivers than in car drivers who were suspected by the police to be impaired. Furthermore, we wanted to investigate if the BAC levels were differently distributed by gender or age within and between these two groups. METHODS: The Norwegian Institute of Public Health analyzes blood samples from all car/boat drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and non-alcoholic drugs. In the present study, samples submitted between 01.05 and 01.09 in 2002-2004 were included. Drivers, who in addition tested positive for drugs or abuse substances other than ethanol were excluded. RESULTS: There were 321 boat drivers and 3,061 car drivers who were suspected to be under the influence of ethanol only. The median BAC in boat drivers (1.76 g/kg [range 0.02-3.54]) was significantly higher compared to that in car drivers (1.54 g/kg [range 0.00-4.27]). In the car driver group, the mean BAC did not differ significantly between men and women. The median level of BAC was significantly higher in men than in women in the boat driver group (1.77 g/kg with CI 1.69-1.85 vs. 1.27 g/kg with CI 0.78-1.76). CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol impairment of car drivers is known to be considered the most important contributing cause of car crash injuries. Driving a boat may demand the same degree of performance skills as driving a car. The median BAC in apprehended boat drivers was considerably high in the present study. The median BAC was also high in car drivers despite strict legislation. The population of drivers of cars in our study, however, is from previous studies known to contain a large proportion of heavy drinkers. Less is known about the drinking habits in boat drivers, and caution is needed in generalizing from our results. However, our results indicate the possible need for stricter legislation and more frequent police control that will hopefully prevent serious accidents caused by ethanol drinking at sea.
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.
A cohort of 1687 registered captains and mates from a Norwegian census in 1970 was followed until 1987 using a historical prospective design. By matching the data from the census to the Norwegian Cancer Registry, 104 cases of cancer were found. A control group of 376 was chosen among non-cases at baseline (1970). Information about the seamen's work on different ships was obtained from the National Register of Norwegian Seamen. The material was analysed using multivariate logistic regression. An increased risk of developing cancer was found in the group of seamen who had been working on tankers, especially oil tankers (OR = 6.47, 95%CI: 1.14, 7.24). The increased risk was found to be significantly correlated to working as mate on these tankers (OR = 6.95, 95%CI: 3.70, 13.04), whereas working as captain showed a much lower risk (OR = 1.42, 95%CI: 0.64, 3.15). Chemical exposure is the major factor separating tankers from other ships. Mates are exposed to chemicals while captains are not. The study indicates the presence of several carcinogenic agents on these tankers.
The cancer morbidity in 3787 shipyard workers was studied between 1978 and 1983. In these shipyards the use of asbestos was abandoned in 1972. The overall cancer morbidity was found to be similar to that of the male population of the same city, but there were four cases of mesothelioma. There were 11 cases of lung cancer, as opposed to 9.8 expected cases. Men with both heavy and long exposure to asbestos had no increased risk of lung cancer. The occurrence of pleural plaques was not associated with the risk of developing cancer.
Erratum In: Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1987;59(6):623
Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. During 1992-2008, an annual average of 58 reported deaths occurred (128 deaths per 100,000 workers), compared with an average of 5,894 deaths (four per 100,000 workers) among all U.S. workers. During the 1990s, safety interventions addressing specific hazards identified in Alaska resulted in a significant decline in the state's commercial fishing fatality rate. During 2007-2010, CDC expanded surveillance of commercial fishing fatalities to the rest of the country's fishing areas. To review the hazards and risk factors for occupational mortality in the U.S. commercial fishing industry, and to explore how hazards and risk factors differ among fisheries and locations, CDC collected and analyzed data on each fatality reported during 2000-2009. This report summarizes the results, which showed that, among the 504 U.S. commercial fishing deaths, the majority occurred after a vessel disaster (261 deaths, 52%) or a fall overboard (155 deaths, 31%). By region, 133 (26%) deaths occurred off the coast of Alaska, 124 (25%) in the Northeast, 116 (23%) in the Gulf of Mexico, 83 (16%) off the West Coast, and 41 (8%) in the Mid- and South Atlantic. Type of fishing was known in 478 deaths; shellfish (226, 47%) was the most common, followed by groundfish (144, 30%) and pelagic fish (97, 20%). To reduce fatalities in this industry, additional prevention measures tailored to specific high-risk fisheries and focusing on prevention of vessel disasters and falls overboard are needed.
This study is a three-month follow-up study in order to assess the short-term impact of traumatic stress among 53 Swedish survivors of the Estonia disaster.
A questionnaire consisting of general questions about conditions during and after the disaster and self-assessment by Post Traumatic Symptom Scale (PTSS-10), Impact of Event Scale (IES), Sense of Coherence-short version (SoC-12), and the DSM-IV list of dissociative symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder formulated as questions regarding individual reactions was distributed.
The response rate was 79.2% (n = 42). The participants scored an average of 3.9 on PTSS-10, 28.5 on IES ('intrusion' and 'avoidance' subscales) and 62.8 on SoC-12, which shows elevated levels of post-traumatic stress reactions but a normal level of sense of coherence. The reported occurrence of dissociative symptoms during the disaster was as follows: emotional numbing in 43% of the survivors, reduction of awareness in 55%, derealisation in 67%, depersonalisation in 33%, and dissociative amnesia in 29%. Survivors scoring low in SoC scored significantly higher in both PTSS-10 and IES than those with high scores in SoC. All dissociative symptoms were predictive of post-traumatic reactions.
This study substantiates the importance of assessing dissociative symptoms during a life-threatening event as a possible for later post-traumatic reactions and possible PTSD. The Sense of Coherence Scale may be useful as an instrument to sort out survivors at risk.
To attempt to determine the mineralogic factors that relate to the appearance of specific types of asbestos-related disease in workers with heavy mixed exposure to amphiboles and chrysotile, we analyzed the pulmonary asbestos fiber burden in a series of 144 shipyard workers and insulators from the Pacific Northwest. Amosite was found in all lungs, and tremolite and chrysotile in most lungs, but the vast majority of fibers were amosite. Tremolite and chrysotile concentrations were significantly correlated, indicating that the tremolite originated from chrysotile products, but no correlation was found between tremolite or chrysotile concentration and amosite concentration. Time since last exposure was correlated with decreasing amosite concentration and the calculated clearance half time was about 20 yr. In a multiple regression analysis that accounted for the presence of more than one disease in many subjects, a high concentration of amosite fibers was correlated with the presence of airway fibrosis and asbestosis, whereas subjects with mesothelioma, lung cancer, pleural plaques, or no asbestos-related disease had about the same, much lower, amosite concentration. No relationship was found between the concentration of chrysotile or tremolite and any disease. Analysis of fiber size measures (length, width, aspect ratio, surface, mass) showed that pleural plaques were strongly associated with high aspect ratio amosite fibers and suggested that mesotheliomas were associated with low aspect ratio amosite fibers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This paper probes the extent to which the public accurately perceives differences in transport risks. The paper is based on a survey of a random sample of the Norwegian population, conducted in September 2003. In the survey, respondents were asked: "How safe do you think it is to travel by means of (bus, train, etc.)?" Answers were given as: very safe, safe, a little unsafe, and very unsafe. A cursory examination of the answers suggested that the Norwegian public was quite well informed about differences in the risk of accident between different modes of transport, as well as between groups formed according to age and gender for each mode of transport. This paper probes the relationship between statistical estimates of risk and summary representations of perceived risk more systematically. It is found that the differences in fatality rate between different modes of transport are quite well perceived by the Norwegian public, irrespective of the way in which perceived risk is represented numerically. The relationship between statistical estimates of risk and numerical representations of perceived risk for each mode of transport is more sensitive to the choice of a numerical representation of perceived risk. A scale in which the answer "very safe" is assigned the value of 0.01 and the answer "very unsafe" is assigned the value of 10 is found to perform quite well. When the perception of risk is represented numerically according to this scale, a positive correlation between statistically estimated risk and perceived risk is found in seven of the eight comparisons that were made to determine how well variation in accident rates according to age and gender for car occupants, car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are perceived.
The incidence of cancer among 4571 shipyard workers with first employment between 1940 and 1979, including 623 welders of mild steel, was investigated in a historical cohort study. The loss to follow up was 1.1%. The total number of deaths was 1078 (974.5 expected) and there were 408 cases of cancer v 361.3 expected. Sixty five cases of lung cancer were found v 46.3 expected based on the national rates for males. Four pleural mesotheliomas had occurred (1.2 expected), none among the welders. An excess of lung cancers was found among the welders (nine cases v 3.6 expected). There were six cases of lung cancer v 1.6 expected in a high exposure group of 255 welders. A survey of the smoking habits as of 1984 indicated 10%-20% more daily smokers among the shipyard production workers than among Norwegian males. Exposure to smoking and asbestos were confounding variables in this study.