August 2021 additions to NERDB

August 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 308 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

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Last new entries:

Chemical industry – picture Rudy and Peter Skitterians via Pixabay

Vujic I, Gandini S, Stanganelli I, Fierro MT, Rappersberger K, Sibilia M, Tosti G, Ferrucci PF, Caini S, De Felici MB, Pagliarello C, Quaglino P, Sanlorenzo M; IMI, the Italian Melanoma Intergroup. A meta-analysis of melanoma risk in industrial workers. Melanoma Res. 2020 Jun;30(3):286-296. doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000531. PMID: 30371537.

Industrial workers are exposed to occupational pollutants, which may cause diseases such as cancer, but links to melanoma are not established. The identification of industry-related risk factors for melanoma incidence and mortality might be of importance for workers, health providers, and insurance companies. To assess melanoma incidence and mortality among oil/petroleum, chemical, and electrical industry workers.

All studies reporting standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and/or standardized incidence ratios (SIR) of melanoma in workers employed in oil/petroleum, chemical, and electrical industries were included. Random-effect meta-analyses were carried out to summarize SIR and SMR for melanoma among oil/petroleum, chemical, and electrical industry workers. Heterogeneity was assessed using χ and I statistics. Possible source bias and quality were assessed using the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology checklist and a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa scale.

Of 1878 citations retrieved, the researchers meta-analyzed 21, 6, and 9 studies for the oil/petroleum, electrical, and chemical industry, respectively. Oil/petroleum industry: summary standardized incidence ratio (SSIR) = 1.23 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-1.36, I = 45%]; summary standardized mortality ratio (SSMR) = 1.02 (95% CI: 0.81-1.28, I = 48%); subgroups: SSIR = 1.16 (95% CI: 1.01-1.32, I = 15%), SSMR = 1.19 (95% CI: 1.00-1.42, I = 20%). Electrical industry: SSIR = 1.00 (95% CI: 0.93-1.11, I = 72%); SSMR = 1.16 (95% CI: 0.74-1.81, I = 11%). Chemical industry: SSIR = 2.08 (95% CI: 0.47-9.24, I = 73%); SSMR = 2.01 (95% CI: 1.09-3.72, I = 33%).

This meta-analysis suggests a slightly increased risk of developing melanoma among oil/petroleum industry workers and an increased melanoma mortality among oil/petroleum and chemical industry workers. No increased risks were found among electrical industry workers.

Wang, D., Zhou, M., Liu, Y., Ma, J., Yang, M., Shi, T., & Chen, W. (2020). Comparison of risk of silicosis in metal mines and pottery factories: A 44-year cohort studyChest158(3), 1050-1059.

Little is known about the different risk of silicosis in metal mines and pottery factories. The researchers aimed to compare the silicosis risks among silica-exposed workers in different industrial circumstances. Their research question is “Are the silicosis risks among silica-exposed workers in industrial circumstances different?

They studied 39,808 workers followed up from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 2003 in China. Cumulative respirable silica dust exposure (CDE) was estimated by linking a job-exposure matrix to personal work history. Silicosis of stage I or higher was diagnosed by Chinese pneumoconiosis Roentgen diagnostic criteria.

A total of 9,377 silicosis patients were diagnosed during 1,153,580.9 person-years’ follow-up in the cohort. Hazard ratios of silicosis for each 1 mg/m3-year increase in CDE were 1.08 (1.07-1.08) for tungsten mines, 1.41 (1.33-1.48) for iron and copper mines, 1.14 (1.11-1.17) for tin mines, and 1.03 (1.02-1.04) for pottery factories, respectively. When exposed to 0.05 mg/m3 of respirable silica dust for 45 years, the cumulative risks in metal mines (2.3%, 9.9%, 1.5% for tungsten mines, iron and copper mines, and tin mines, respectively) were still higher than those in pottery factories (0.6%). The joint effect of silica and smoking on silicosis was more than multiplicative.

The risk of silicosis in metal miners is higher than that in pottery workers when exposed to the same level of silica dust. The silica dust-exposed years should be under 10 years for metal miners and 40 years for pottery workers at 0.05 mg/m3 to keep lifetime risk within 0.1%. Current exposure limits should take into account differences in various industrial circumstances. Smoking cessation could help reduce silicosis risk for silica-exposed workers.

Hayes JP, Lambourn L, Hopkirk JA, Durham SR, Taylor AJ. Occupational asthma due to styrene. Thorax. 1991 May;46(5):396-7. doi: 10.1136/thx.46.5.396. PMID: 2068702; PMCID: PMC1020978.

In a patient with asthma who was exposed to styrene serial self-recorded measurements of peak expiratory flow showed his asthma to be work-related, and inhalation tests with styrene reproducibly provoked a dual asthmatic response and increased responsiveness to inhaled histamine.

Huang S, Liu Z, Ge X, Luo X, Zhou Y, Li D, Li L, Chen X, Huang L, Cheng H, Hou Q, Zan G, Tan Y, Liu C, Zou Y, Yang X. Occupational exposure to manganese and risk of creatine kinase and creatine kinase-MB elevation among ferromanganese refinery workers. Am J Ind Med. 2020 May;63(5):394-401. doi: 10.1002/ajim.23097. Epub 2020 Feb 29. PMID: 32112445.

Elevated exposure to manganese (Mn) could induce cardiovascular dysfunction. However, limited research is available on the effects of occupational Mn exposure on myocardial enzymes. The researchers aimed to evaluate the relationships between Mn exposure and myocardial enzyme elevation among Mn-exposed workers.

Data were from a follow-up investigation of a Mn-exposed workers healthy cohort in 2017. A total of 744 workers were divided into low-exposure and high-exposure groups according to Mn time-weighted average (Mn-TWA) of less than or equal to 0.15 mg/m3 or greater than 0.15 mg/m3, respectively. Serum levels of myocardial enzymes, including creatine kinase (CK) and creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), lactic dehydrogenase, α-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, and aspartate transaminase, were assessed, as well as airborne Mn exposure levels.

After adjustment for sex, body mass index, seniority, education, current smoking status, current drinking status, and hypertension, Mn-TWA levels were positively associated with the risk of CK elevation (odds ratio [OR] = 1.47 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.18-1.83) per interquartile range [IQR] increase), and risk of CK-MB elevation [OR = 1.57 (95% CI: 1.03-2.38) per IQR increase]. In a stratified analysis, Mn-TWA levels were positively correlated with CK elevation in workers of seniority greater than 19 years, male workers, current smokers, and drinkers.

The results suggest that occupational exposure to Mn is associated with an increased risk of CK and CK-MB elevation. The potential mechanisms of the associations between airborne exposure to Mn and increased risk of these myocardial enzyme elevations warrant further investigation

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