Part of a crew on a Norwegian naval ship was exposed to the radar waves for approximately 7 min from an American destroyer during an incident at sea in August 2012. Information about the exposure was not given by the navy. This is a description of what happened with the crew on board after this event. 14 persons had been on the ship bridge or outside on the deck during the exposure and the rest of the crew had been inside the ship. 27 persons were examined at a hospital 6-8 months after the event, as they had developeda large number of symptoms from different organ systems. They were very worried about all types of possible adverse health effects due to the incident. All were examined by an occupational physician and anophthalmologist, by an interview, clinical examinations and blood tests at the hospital. The interview of the personnel revealed that they had not experienced any major heating during the episode. Their symptoms developed days or weeks after the radar exposure. They had no objective signs of adverse health effects at the examination related to the incident. Long-term health effect from the exposure is highly unlikely. The development of different symptoms after the incident was probably due to the fear of possible health consequences. Better routines for such incidents at sea should be developed to avoid this type of anxiety.
An explosion in a Danish supertanker under construction in 1994 caused the death of six workers and injured 15. Six months later 270 workers took part in this study, which analyses the relationships between objective stressors, the workers' own feelings and the reactions of their families after the explosion together with training, attitude to the workplace, general out-look, and received crisis help. Traumatisation, coping style and crisis support was assessed via the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ) and the Crisis Support Scale (CSS). Emotionally, workers and their families were strongly affected by the explosion. The IES-score was 17.6 and the invasion score 9.1. The degree of traumatisation was higher in the group who had an 'audience position' than in the group who was directly hit by the explosion. Training in rescue work did not protect against adverse effects. Rescue work had a strong impact on the involved. Social support was a significant factor, that seems to buffer negative effects. High level of social integration, effective leadership in the situation, and professional crisis intervention characterised the disaster situation. All the same, 41 per cent of the workers reached the caseness criteria by Horowitz (IES > or = 19).
The objective of this study was to explore beliefs, attitudes and suggestions concerning effective interventions to promote the use of sun protection, the use of personal flotation devices (PFDs) and the avoidance of contact with water unfit for swimming.
Interviews were conducted with 36 users and 2 river park activity coordinators on a river in the Greater Montreal area.
The respondents recognized the existence of a certain number of negative beliefs and barriers associated with the adoption of safe behaviours, in particular the pointlessness and inconvenience of means of protection against the sun and the wearing of PFDs, the negligible effects of polluted water on health and the thrill of defying bans. To help change beliefs, attitudes and behaviours, the respondents suggested legislative, organizational and individual interventions.
The data gathered during this study will help to determine intervention strategies and to set up programs promoting behavioural change among the target population.
The suitability of determining aluminum in serum or urine as a form of biological monitoring was critically assessed.
Airborne and internal aluminum exposure was assessed for 12 aluminum welders in a shipyard and 5 manufacturers of aluminum sulfate. Particles were characterized with X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Aluminum in air and biological samples was analyzed using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Basic toxicokinetic features were inferred from the data.
The mean 8-hour time-weighted average concentration of aluminum was 1.1 (range 0.008-6.1) mg/m(3) for the shipyard and 0.13 (range 0.02-0.5) mg/m(3) for the aluminum sulfate plant. Welding fume contained aluminum oxide particles
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.
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.
OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relationship between exposure to the Exxon Valdez oil spill and subsequent cleanup efforts and the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depressive symptoms in 13 Alaska communities. METHOD: A community survey of 599 men and women was conducted approximately 1 year after the spill occurred. Questions from the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule were used to assess symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale was used to assess levels of depressive symptoms. RESULTS: The post-spill (i.e., 1-year) prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD for the study communities with all degrees of exposure was 20.2% and 9.4%, respectively. The prevalence of respondents with CES-D Scale scores above 16 and 18 was 16.6% and 14.2%, respectively. When compared with the unexposed group, members of the high-exposure group were 3.6 times as likely to have generalized anxiety disorder, 2.9 times as likely to have PTSD, 1.8 times as likely to have a CES-D Scale score of 16 and above, and 2.1 times as likely to have a CES-D Scale score of 18 and above. Women exposed to this event were particularly vulnerable to these conditions, and Alaska Natives were particularly vulnerable to depressive symptoms after the oil spill. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the oil spill's impact on the psychosocial environment was as significant as its impact on the physical environment. The Exxon Valdez experience suggests a number of implications for the mental health needs of disaster victims, particularly in primary care settings.
High-performance marine craft personnel (HPMCP) are regularly exposed to vibration and repeated shock (VRS) levels exceeding maximum limitations stated by international legislation. Whereas such exposure reportedly is detrimental to health and performance, the epidemiological data necessary to link these adverse effects causally to VRS are not available in the scientific literature, and no suitable tools for acquiring such data exist. This study therefore constructed a questionnaire for longitudinal investigations in HPMCP.
A consensus panel defined content domains, identified relevant items and outlined a questionnaire. The relevance and simplicity of the questionnaire's content were then systematically assessed by expert raters in three consecutive stages, each followed by revisions. An item-level content validity index (I-CVI) was computed as the proportion of experts rating an item as relevant and simple, and a scale-level content validity index (S-CVI/Ave) as the average I-CVI across items. The thresholds for acceptable content validity were 0.78 and 0.90, respectively. Finally, a dynamic web version of the questionnaire was constructed and pilot tested over a 1-month period during a marine exercise in a study population sample of eight subjects, while accelerometers simultaneously quantified VRS exposure.
Content domains were defined as work exposure, musculoskeletal pain and human performance, and items were selected to reflect these constructs. Ratings from nine experts yielded S-CVI/Ave of 0.97 and 1.00 for relevance and simplicity, respectively, and the pilot test suggested that responses were sensitive to change in acceleration and that the questionnaire, following some adjustments, was feasible for its intended purpose.
A dynamic web-based questionnaire for longitudinal survey of key variables in HPMCP was constructed. Expert ratings supported that the questionnaire content is relevant, simple and sufficiently comprehensive, and the pilot test suggested that the questionnaire is feasible for longitudinal measurements in the study population.
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Survivorship is one of the least studied and thus least understood aspects of a breast cancer experience. Defined as a life-long, dynamic process, survivorship begins when people have completed medical treatment for breast cancer, yet live with the memories of their treatment and the possibility of a cancer reoccurrence. The numbers of women surviving breast cancer are growing, which means research on survivorship is imperative. In this article, I examine dragon boat racing (DBR) for breast cancer survivors. DBR has been adapted to a woman-centered, community-based leisure pursuit focused on life after medical treatment for breast cancer. Active interviews with 11 participants revealed that DBR contributes to women's social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental health. In turn, feeling healthy in these five dimensions enhanced the women's survivorship of breast cancer. The findings demonstrate the roles of leisure in the health and well-being of women who are breast cancer survivors.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To study crew referrals to out-patient port services from 3 passenger ships during 12 months (2004), with focus on dentist appointments. The median number of crew on Ship A was 561, on Ship B 534 and on Ship C 614. METHODS: Crew referrals were registered continuously and after each cruise segment recorded in the ship's doctor's medical cruise report, from which the data were retrieved and reviewed. RESULTS: During 2004 the doctors of the 3 sister ships had a total of 8888 crew consultations (Table 1). Mean number of doctor consultations for crew was 17.5 a day. On Ship A 50%, on B 59% and on C 70% of the port referrals were dentist appointments. A crew member was referred to a dentist every 7 (Ship C) to 10 days (Ships A + B). Among the specified dental referrals, 18% were extraction requests. CONCLUSIONS: The ship's doctors had a busy crew practice, but were neither trained nor equipped to do elective dentistry aboard. Crew referral rate to services ashore was low, but 50-70% of the referrals for out-patient port services concerned dentistry. Inadequate health insurance caused low-wage crew to request free extractions instead of expensive repair in high-cost ports. As dentistry in local ports is a poor substitute for the person's own dentist, doctors performing seafarer examinations should ensure that dental problems are solved before sign-on.