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 from this month on regular updates on new disease – exposure combinations we added to the database. Currently, we have 257 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

19771201011
19881201110
19953201210
19971201313
19992201419
20021201527
20052201621
20061201735
20072201830
20085201940
20093202010
unknown year6

Last new entries

Mourad BH, Ashour YA. Demonstration of Subclinical Early Nephrotoxicity Induced by Occupational Exposure to Silica among Workers in Pottery IndustryInt J Occup Environ Med. 2020;11(2):85-94. doi:10.34172/ijoem.2020.1886

Pottery and silica
Picture by alexalf2 on Pixabay

For many years, several studies drew attention to the possible nephrotoxic effects of silica and distinct renal dysfunction involving glomerular and renal tubules in workers exposed to silica. The objective of this study was to determine the early signs of subclinical nephrotoxic effects among some Egyptian workers exposed to silica in the pottery industry.

This study was carried out in El-Fawakhir handicraft pottery area, in Greater Cairo, Egypt. A group of 29 non-smoking male workers who were occupationally exposed to silica, was compared to a control group of 35 non-smoking administrative male subjects. Measured urinary parameters were concentrations of total protein (TP), microalbumin (Malb), activities of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), γ-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), and silicon (Si).

The silica-exposed workers showed significantly (p<0.05) increased levels of urinary TP, Malb, ALP, γ-GT, LDH, and KIM-1 compared with the comparison group. Among the silica-exposed group, increased urinary Si levels were positively and significantly correlated (Spearman’s ρ>0.60, p<0.001 for all variables) with the elevated urinary proteins (including KIM-1) and enzymes levels.

All measured urinary parameters were positively and significantly correlated (ρ>0.75, p<0.001 for all variables) with the duration of work among exposed subjects. No significant correlation was observed between the measured variables and the age of workers. The authors conclude that there is an associated subclinical glomerular and tubular affection among silica-exposed workers, which is related to the duration and intensity of exposure.

Kim K, Sung HK, Lee K, Park SK. Semiconductor Work and the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion: A Systematic Review and Meta-AnalysisInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(23):4626. Published 2019 Nov 21. doi:10.3390/ijerph16234626

Earlier research seems to indicate that in the semiconductor industry, female workers were identified as having an increased risk of spontaneous abortion (SA). To date, the association between semiconductor work and SA is controversial. We aimed to assess the association between semiconductor work and specific processes and SA, in the semiconductor industry.

Therefore, a literature search was conducted using databases such as PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library, and other core databases, from the date of inception of these databases to 31 July 2019. Studies that identified SA risk in female workers in the semiconductor industry were included.

The authors identified initially 529 studies, of which six studies were included in the meta-analysis. During the early period 1980-1993, the risk of SA in fabrication (Fab) workers was significantly higher than non-Fab workers (RR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05-1.57). Photo lithography workers had a higher SA risk than non-process and office workers (RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.13-1.77).

The authors conclude that this meta-analysis indicates a statistically significant association between Fab-work and SA. Specific process and chemical exposure meta-analyses need to be interpreted carefully considering bias. Because of the rapid change in the semiconductor industry, it is necessary to conduct an elaborate cohort study taking into consideration the current working environment.

Roggia SM, de França AG, Morata TC, Krieg E, Earl BR. Auditory system dysfunction in Brazilian gasoline station workersInt J Audiol. 2019;58(8):484-496. doi:10.1080/14992027.2019.1597286

The objective of this cross-sectional study was to examine the auditory system of Brazilian gasoline station workers using an extensive audiological test battery. The audiological evaluation included a questionnaire, pure-tone audiometry, acoustic immittance tests, transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs), distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), auditory brainstem response (ABR) and P300 auditory-evoked potentials. 

In the studied group a total of 77 Brazilian gasoline station workers were evaluated, and their results were compared with those of 36 participants who were not exposed to chemicals or noise at work. The gasoline station employees worked in 18 different gas stations, and the noise area measurements from all gas stations revealed time-weighted averages below 85 dBA. 

Of the 77 gasoline station workers evaluated, 67.5% had audiometric results within the normal range, but 59.7% reported difficulties in communication in noisy places. Gasoline station workers showed significantly poorer results than non-exposed control participants in one or more conditions of each of the audiological tests used, except P300. 

The authors conclude that the results suggest that the gasoline station workers have both peripheral and central auditory dysfunctions that could be partly explained by their exposure to gasoline.

Gary M Marsh, A Michael Ierardi, Stacey M Benson, Brent L Finley (2020). Occupational exposures to cosmetic talc and risk of mesothelioma: an updated pooled cohort and statistical power analysis with consideration of latency period Inhal Toxic. 2019 May;31(6):213-223. doi: 10.1080/08958378.2019.1645768. 

The authors published an update from an earlier study on mesothelioma incidence in the Italian, Norwegian, Austrian, and French cosmetic talc miner and miller cohorts. They added the Italian and Norwegian cohorts with an additional 14,322 person-years of observation. They used the expected numbers of cases as reported by the authors and the power analysis was based on an a priori one-sided significance level of 0.05 and Poisson distribution probabilities. 

There was a pooled total of 113,344 person-years in the cohorts. Although 3.0 pleural cancers/mesotheliomas were expected, there were no reported pleural cancer or mesothelioma cases in any cohort. The pooled analysis was associated with 79 and 62% power to detect a 3.0-fold and 2.5-fold or greater increase in pleural cancer/mesothelioma, respectively. These favorable power characteristics were effectively maintained when restricting the pooled cohort to workers with a latency period of 30 or more years (observation time from first employment). 

The authors conclude that the epidemiological evidence from the cosmetic talc miner/miller cohort studies does not support the hypothesis that exposure to cosmetic talc is associated with the development of pleural cancer/mesothelioma.