[What do we know about chemical hazards in offshore work?].
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004 Oct 21;124(20):2627-9. PMID: 15534638
Seksjon for arbeidsmedisin, Institutt for samfunnsmedisinske fag, Universitetet i Bergen, 5018 Bergen. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Norway has been an oil-producing nation for more than thirty years and a large number of Norwegians have been or are working on oil rigs. There are several chemical substances present on the oil platforms, and these factors may influence workers' health. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The international literature on offshore chemical exposure and health is summarised. RESULTS: The most important groups of chemical substances used on oil rigs are described: crude oil, production chemicals, asbestos and drilling chemicals. Different types of exposure during maintenance work are described as well. Very few exposure data are published. Acute, irritative health effects from chemical exposure are described, as well as chronic health effects like skin disorders and cancer. These workers seem to have a higher risk, that may be related to benzene exposure, of developing acute myelogenous leukemia. INTERPRETATION: Physicians who are treating patients working in the oil industry are advised to be aware of possible adverse health effects from the work environment on the rigs. Further exposure studies and research in this area are highly recommended, as the literature is scarce.