Tsunami work gave Danish police asthma

According to the Danish newspaper Politiken the Danish authorities are now to check those involved in corpse identification after the 2004 Thai tsunami
Denmark is to check 166 police officers who took part in body identification following the Thai tsunami in 2004 after Swedish officers were found to have contracted disinfectant instigated asthma. At least two Swedish forensic scientists have been confirmed as having contracted asthma, while another seven have respiratory symptoms.
“It was warm and humid and as such bodies decay quickly. To prevent the spread of disease a lot of disinfecting chemicals were used,” says Labour and Environment Medicine Senior Physician Peter Jacobsen adding that chemicals used for disinfection all cause the same type of respiratory or skin irritation and in some cases asthma.
Jacobsen says that Denmark’s National Police Authority has surveyed the 132 Danish police officers who were sent to Thailand to identify bodies. Eighteen of them have confirmed that they have skin or respiratory ailments.  The Danish Working Environment Authority has decided that clinical tests are now to be carried out on officers. he 34 medical examiners who were also in Thailand are to be asked in a questionnaire if they too have any problems resulting from their work in Thailand, and if so they will also be examined.


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