Exposure and Health Status of Canadian Law Enforcement Personnel Associated with Identification Procedures


  1. Van Netten, C.
  2. Brands, R.
  3. Carpenter, D.
  4. Tremblay, M.
  5. Morrison, B.
  6. Kennedy, S.
  7. Teschke, K.
Corporate Authors
University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC (CAN) Dept of Health Care and Epidemiology;Canadian Police Research Centre, Ottawa Ont (CAN)
The occupational exposure and health status of police officers involved with identification procedures was investigated across Canada. Subjects and controls were recruited from the various Canadian law enforcement agencies. A personal questionnaire was send out to each participant and included questions regarding exposures to fingerprint powders and otehr chemicals used in ident work, hobbies, drinking and smoking habits, as well as previous occupations. This section of the questionnaire was returned by mail and followed by a personal interview with a physician who administered a health questionnaire and classified the diseases according to their ICD code. Information from 311 subjects (study group) and 205 controls (control group) was obtained. The study group had a highest prevalence of diseases of the respiratory system, 21.5%; skin, 17.4%; digestive system, 11.3%; and hormonal system 9.0%. The controls showed highest prevalence rates for diseases of skin 13.7%; musculoskeletal system 13.7%;respiratory system 11.7%; hormone system 8.8% and digestive system 8.3%. Prevalence odds ratios (PORs) were elevated in ident personnel in five categories i.e. respiratory system, 1.96%; skin 1.27; digestive system 1.56; nervous system 1.09 and cancer 4.51. Of these the POR for respiratory illness was statistically significant. Of the 98 specific fingerprint powders, the 9 powder categories based on appearance, and the 11 specific chemical agents; 15 specific powders, 5 powder categorie
Police -- Health and hygiene;Police -- Health risk assessment;Identification -- Equipment and supplies;Crime laboratories -- Employees -- Health and hygiene;Hazardous substances
Report Number
HV7936.H4;TR-06-1995E;TR-06-95 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Sep 1994
Number of Pages
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