There has been a growing international research interest regarding possible effects of different working hours on the health and safety of workers. Chemicals are often present in occupational settings where shift work and prolonged working hours are common. Chemicals may cause a variety of diseases in humans. There is, however, a lack of knowledge on the influence of these effects by unusual working hours in general, and by night work in particular. The objective of the present project is to get an overview of the scientific literature on currently available evidence regarding exposure to chemicals in shift workers as well as other unusual working hours, and their health effects.
Based on analyses of information on dose-response/dose-effect relationships, the project aims at defining critical effects. This document is produced by appointment with, and in close collaboration with the Nordic Expert Group for Criteria Documentation of Health Risks from Chemicals (NEG). The main task of NEG is to produce criteria documents to be used by the regulatory authorities as the scientific basis for setting occupational exposure limits for chemical substances. Furthermore, the results from this project may help in more careful shift planning for workers exposed to chemicals.
A working group consisting of two researchers from the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) and a professor from the University of Bergen, will implement the project, in cooperation with librarians at NIOH.