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 daily consumption of alcohol in a study of a population of Danish ship-yard workers laid off in relation to unexpected closure, was measured in 1976 (7 months before being laid off) and in 1978 (1 1/2 year after being laid off). The study population (N = 88) consisted mostly of skilled male workers. Data in 1976 and 1978 were collected in exactly the same manner. The main findings were that the unemployed workers were more likely to reduce their alcohol consumption than the reemployed workers in the same population-controlling for age. The study brings no evidence which could support the popular belief of a causal relation between unemployed and use of alcohol.
Institute of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsoe, Tromsoe, Norway; Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital North Norway, Tromsoe, Norway. Olga.Shiryaeva@uit.no
Trawler fishermen and merchant seafarers have tough working conditions. While workers in both occupations are exposed to a challenging environment, trawler fishermen are also engaged in onboard fish processing, which is considered to be additional exposure. The aim of the present study was to characterize respiratory health status in both groups of seamen.
In total 127 trawler fishermen and 118 merchant seafarers were enrolled during their regular medical health examinations. The study protocol comprised a standardized questionnaire, lung function test and measurements of fractional nitric oxide concentrations (FE(NO) ) in exhaled air.
Doctor-diagnosed asthma was reported only by trawler fishermen (3.9%, P?
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.
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.