open access

Vol 62, No 3 (2010)
MARITIME MEDICINE Case report
Published online: 2010-12-06
Submitted: 2013-02-18
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Occupational poisoning by carbon monoxide aboard a gas carrier. Report on 8 cases

David Lucas, Brice Loddé, Dominique Jegaden, Jean-Ariel Bronstein, Richard Pougnet, S. Bell, Jean-Dominique Dewitte
International Maritime Health 2010;62(3):176-179.

open access

Vol 62, No 3 (2010)
MARITIME MEDICINE Case report
Published online: 2010-12-06
Submitted: 2013-02-18

Abstract


Objectives
- To determine the accidental factors and the clinical symptoms in eight cases of occupational poisoning of port workers by carbon monoxide.
- To consider the primary prevention of this serious pathology occurring at work.
Methods
- To analyze the circumstances of the exposure to carbon monoxide in the employees in the naval repair sector.
- To indicate the systemic failures causing this accidental poisoning, the means for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, and to discuss the prevention of such accidents.
Results. The poisoning occurred in eight mechanics and electricians working without any protective means in a gas carrier tank in dry dock. The employees, unaware of carbon monoxide exposure, stayed for 45 minutes in an atmosphere polluted with carbon monoxide concentrations of over 500 ppm. The main complaints were of headache, muscular weakness, and drowsiness. No post-interval syndrome was found three weeks after poisoning. The levels of carboxyhaemoglobin varied from 1.8 to 31.2%. Early normal pressure oxygen therapy reduced the symptoms. No delayed syndrome was found three weeks after poisoning.
Conclusions. The inclusion of poisonous gas in gas-free certification, adherence to maritime harbour regulations, greater respect for working instructions in hazardous environments, and the use of detectors appropriate to the conditions for each ship would avoid exposure and decrease the risk of poisoning.

Abstract


Objectives
- To determine the accidental factors and the clinical symptoms in eight cases of occupational poisoning of port workers by carbon monoxide.
- To consider the primary prevention of this serious pathology occurring at work.
Methods
- To analyze the circumstances of the exposure to carbon monoxide in the employees in the naval repair sector.
- To indicate the systemic failures causing this accidental poisoning, the means for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, and to discuss the prevention of such accidents.
Results. The poisoning occurred in eight mechanics and electricians working without any protective means in a gas carrier tank in dry dock. The employees, unaware of carbon monoxide exposure, stayed for 45 minutes in an atmosphere polluted with carbon monoxide concentrations of over 500 ppm. The main complaints were of headache, muscular weakness, and drowsiness. No post-interval syndrome was found three weeks after poisoning. The levels of carboxyhaemoglobin varied from 1.8 to 31.2%. Early normal pressure oxygen therapy reduced the symptoms. No delayed syndrome was found three weeks after poisoning.
Conclusions. The inclusion of poisonous gas in gas-free certification, adherence to maritime harbour regulations, greater respect for working instructions in hazardous environments, and the use of detectors appropriate to the conditions for each ship would avoid exposure and decrease the risk of poisoning.
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Keywords

carbon monoxide poisoning; naval occupational exposure to CO and H2S; gas carrier tank

About this article
Title

Occupational poisoning by carbon monoxide aboard a gas carrier. Report on 8 cases

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 62, No 3 (2010)

Pages

176-179

Published online

2010-12-06

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2010;62(3):176-179.

Keywords

carbon monoxide poisoning
naval occupational exposure to CO and H2S
gas carrier tank

Authors

David Lucas
Brice Loddé
Dominique Jegaden
Jean-Ariel Bronstein
Richard Pougnet
S. Bell
Jean-Dominique Dewitte

References (9)
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  8. R è gl e m e nt pour le transport et la manutention des marchandises dangereuses dans les ports maritimes. www.mer.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf RPM_consolide_28-01- -2008_clec8d2f-1.pdf (22.02.2008).
  9. Svedberg U, Samuelsson J, Melin S. Hazardous off-gassing of carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion during ocean transportation of wood pellets. Ann Occup Hyg. 2008; 52(4): 259–266.

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