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.