April 2021 additions to NERDB

April 2021 additions to NERDB

NERDB is the New and emerging risks database. This bibliographic database is an initiative of Nicole Palmen and Annet Lenderink with the support of Modernet and is currently powered by Airtable.

More information on this database on the NERDB page

On the website, we will publish regular updates on new disease-exposure combinations we added to the database. Currently, we have 292 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

unknown year620212

Last new entries:

Dufayet, L., Caré, W., de Haro, L., Ameltchenko, M., Knezynski, M., Vodovar, D., & Langrand, J. (2021). Acute occupational exposure to holothurians (Cucumaria frondosa) resulting in irritating symptoms: About three casesToxicon189, 45-47.

Holothurians are marine invertebrates also known as sea cucumbers. They are used in fresh or dried forms in various cuisines around the world and have alleged medicinal properties. Consequently, sea cucumbers, notably the orange-footed sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa)are increasingly harvested from the environment or farmed via aquaculture. We report three cases of unusual occupational exposure to C. frondosa resulting in cutaneous, respiratory, and ocular irritating symptoms. These symptoms occurred as sea cucumbers were cut in half and eviscerated manually, following a machine breakdown in a sea cucumber processing factory. Given the composition of holothurians, these symptoms probably resulted from the aerosolization of various holothurins, saponins secreted by sea cucumbers as a means of defense. Treatment was solely symptomatic and included decontamination of the skin and the eyes, inhaled glucocorticoids, anticholinergic agents, and oral glucocorticoids. As the exposure resulted from a machine breakdown, no specific protective equipment was put in place. Employees were advised not to handle manually the sea cucumbers in case such a breakdown was to happen again.

  • Holothurians (sea cucumbers) are increasingly harvested, processed in factories and consumed.
  • Sea cucumbers contains holothurins: saponins that exhibited cytostatic properties in vitro
  • External exposure to sea cucumbers can lead to irritating symptoms.
  • As there is no antidote, treatment of sea cucumbers’ external exposures is symptomatic.
Photo by Rodrigo Curi on Unsplash

Mahfuzur R. Miah, Omamuyovwi M. Ijomone, Comfort O.A. Okoh, Olayemi K. Ijomone, Grace T. Akingbade, Tao Ke, Bárbara Krum, Airton da Cunha Martins, Ayodele Akinyemi, Nicole Aranoff, Felix Alexandre Antunes Soares, Aaron B. Bowman, Michael Aschner, The effects of manganese overexposure on brain health, Neurochemistry International, Volume 135, 2020, 104688, ISSN 0197-0186, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104688.

Manganese (Mn) is the twelfth most abundant element on the earth and an essential metal to human health. Mn is present at low concentrations in a variety of dietary sources, which provides adequate Mn content to sustain support various physiological processes in the human body. However, with the rise of Mn utility in a variety of industries, there is an increased risk of overexposure to this transition metal, which can have neurotoxic consequences. This risk includes occupational exposure of Mn to workers as well as overall increased Mn pollution affecting the general public. Here, we review exposure due to air pollution and inhalation in industrial settings; we also delve into the toxic effects of manganese on the brain such as oxidative stress, inflammatory response and transporter dysregulation. Additionally, we summarize current understandings underlying the mechanisms of Mn toxicity.

  • Manganese (Mn) pollution in the air and overexposure in subsets of the general population is likely to increase with increased industrial utility for the metal.
  • Overexposure to Mn can lead to metal dyshomeostasis (imbalance or other breakdowns of a homeostasis system) in the brain.
  • Dopaminergic systems are uniquely affected by Mn and can lead to types of parkinsonism.
  • Mechanisms explaining Mn toxicity include increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and calcium-related pathways.

Mason P, Liviero F, Crivellaro M, Maculan P, Maestrelli P, Guarnieri G. Cutaneous sensitization to aziridine preceding the onset of occupational asthma. Occup Med (Lond). 2020 Apr 20;70(2):135-138. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqz154. PMID: 32002545.

The authors describe a 47-year-old non-atopic woman, working as a spray painter in a tannery for 23 years. She has a 16-year history of cutaneous symptoms and a subsequent 2-year history of asthmatic symptoms after exposure to aerosol and vapour of polyfunctional aziridine (PFA) at work. To confirm the occupational origin of this dermatitis and asthma we performed a skin prick test with PFA and a specific inhalation challenge (SIC) with PFA. Prick test with PFA elicited an immediate positive skin reaction. She developed an immediate asthmatic reaction upon SIC with PFA. The onset of occupational dermatitis before asthma is consistent with the hypothesis that the sensitization to PFA was triggered in the skin. The observation that the reactions elicited in skin and airways upon exposure to PFA exhibited the same time course, suggests a similar mechanism at both sites. Thus, the avoidance of both skin and airway exposure to PFA should be recommended in workplace hygiene practice.

Cherrie JW, Levy L. Managing Occupational Exposure to Welding Fume: New Evidence Suggests a More Precautionary Approach is Needed. Ann Work Expo Health. 2020 Jan 1;64(1):1-4. doi: 10.1093/annweh/wxz079. PMID: 31686108.

Welding is a common industrial process with many millions of workers exposed worldwide. In October 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that exposure to welding fumes causes lung cancer in humans, based primarily on the available epidemiological literature. These research studies did not show that the cancer risk differed between mild steel and stainless steel welding but were related to the total welding aerosol. Lung cancer risks were observable at very low exposure levels; below 1 mg m-3 and perhaps as low as 0.1 mg m-3, averaged over a working lifetime. As a result of this IARC evaluation, in Britain, the Health and Safety Executive has acted to strengthen its enforcement expectations for fume control at welding activities. In the light of these developments, it would seem appropriate to review current health-based exposure limits for metal dust and fumes from welding to ensure they are protective.



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