open access

Vol 62, No 4 (2011)
Original article
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2012-04-30
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Assessment of physical, environmental, and cardiac strain in 43 operators (wearing protective equipment) conducting clean-up of heavy oil products

B. Loddé, E. Quidelleur, C.L. Igoho-Zephir, M.B. Eniafe-Eveillard, P. Choucroun, J.D. Dewitte, A. Baert
International Maritime Health 2011;62(4):276-285.

open access

Vol 62, No 4 (2011)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original article
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2012-04-30

Abstract

Background. The aim of the study was to organise an assessment of the physical strains and environmental exposure to hydrocarbon derivatives in persons involved in shoreline clean-up of heavy oil products, in order to investigate the dangers of oil spill clean-up.
Material and methods.
Forty-three healthy volunteers wearing protective equipment cleaning up an artificial shoreline underwent cardiac strain measurements, as well as a study of thermal stress (approximate WBGT index, water loss, measurement of internal body temperature before and after physical activity). A subjective assessment of perceived exertion was correlated to articular strain indicators recorded for the weight of loads lifted, movement frequency, and the range of movement. Environmental exposure was determined by using portable hydrocarbon detectors.
Results. For adult subjects in good physical condition, in neutral temperatures, oil spill clean-up is considered non-arduous. However, in sedentary, stressed subjects exposed to difficult climatic conditions, cleanup can be considered hard to extremely hard. In terms of environmental exposure, slight traces of toluene appeared once out of a total of 18 analysed samples.
Conclusions. The sample studied was subject to physical articular strains and presented variable cardiac strain; environmental exposure was, on the other hand, slight when involving cleaning up heavy petroleum products. The subjects liable to carry out this activity are more tolerant to the efforts required when they are healthy, fit, young adults, in the non-arduous thermal conditions recorded in this study.

Abstract

Background. The aim of the study was to organise an assessment of the physical strains and environmental exposure to hydrocarbon derivatives in persons involved in shoreline clean-up of heavy oil products, in order to investigate the dangers of oil spill clean-up.
Material and methods.
Forty-three healthy volunteers wearing protective equipment cleaning up an artificial shoreline underwent cardiac strain measurements, as well as a study of thermal stress (approximate WBGT index, water loss, measurement of internal body temperature before and after physical activity). A subjective assessment of perceived exertion was correlated to articular strain indicators recorded for the weight of loads lifted, movement frequency, and the range of movement. Environmental exposure was determined by using portable hydrocarbon detectors.
Results. For adult subjects in good physical condition, in neutral temperatures, oil spill clean-up is considered non-arduous. However, in sedentary, stressed subjects exposed to difficult climatic conditions, cleanup can be considered hard to extremely hard. In terms of environmental exposure, slight traces of toluene appeared once out of a total of 18 analysed samples.
Conclusions. The sample studied was subject to physical articular strains and presented variable cardiac strain; environmental exposure was, on the other hand, slight when involving cleaning up heavy petroleum products. The subjects liable to carry out this activity are more tolerant to the efforts required when they are healthy, fit, young adults, in the non-arduous thermal conditions recorded in this study.
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Keywords

oil; toxicology; strains; heart; physiology

About this article
Title

Assessment of physical, environmental, and cardiac strain in 43 operators (wearing protective equipment) conducting clean-up of heavy oil products

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 62, No 4 (2011)

Article type

Original article

Pages

276-285

Published online

2012-04-30

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2011;62(4):276-285.

Keywords

oil
toxicology
strains
heart
physiology

Authors

B. Loddé
E. Quidelleur
C.L. Igoho-Zephir
M.B. Eniafe-Eveillard
P. Choucroun
J.D. Dewitte
A. Baert

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