1 Research Programme on Health and Morbidity in Denmark, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 Health Promotion and Prevention, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU3 Health Promotion and Prevention, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
In 1968, a B-52 bomber carrying nuclear bombs crashed near the Thule US Air-Base in Greenland. By 1986, many cases of disease had been reported among Danish workers employed at the base. A database has been constructed from staff files of workers employed from 1963 to 1971. Of 4,322 workers, 98.7% were identified in 1987. The study group consisted of 1,202 workers employed during the clean up period (from the time of the crash until the last of the contaminated material had been removed). The reference group consisted of 3,120 workers employed outside the clean up period. No differences were found in total mortality, or mortality from cancer, heart disease or accidents between the groups after adjusting for age, marital status and length of employment. Mortality from suicide was lower in the study group. The hospitalization rates for the period 1977-1985 also showed no differences between the two groups. The conclusion of the register surveys is that no harmful effect on health due to the crash can be established by measuring mortality or hospital admissions.
Ugeskrift for Laeger, 1993, Vol 155, Issue 30, p. 2330-3