By: Trygve Bergsland
Tordis Stigen Klausen worked full time, or in part, as a dental assistant from 1969 to 1992. This work led to her being seriously ill.
Long struggle for justice
With support from a number of foreign and Norwegian experts Klausen has struggled for the view that the mercury injury of dental assistants must be taken seriously by the Norwegian authorities.
– Tordis Stigen Klausen have fought in the District Court, the Court of Appeal and twice in the Social Security Court. Together with us in the League of Dental Assistants (ThsF) she has had to fight against several Ministers of Health, The national Social Security Agency, the Health Services and STAMI (the National Institute of Occupational Health). Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK-Brennpunkt) has on three occasions set a critical light on the Government's treatment of this case, and in 2006 Tordis Stigen Klausen received the Zola Award for her many years of struggle for the mercury issue. Now, 20 years after having to quit her job, the NAV (The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service) finally approved her injury as an occupational disease, says Gerd Bang-Johansen.