On the 13th and 14th of February 2020, we had the Modernet meeting in Berlin. On the meeting page, you can find some information on the program, some pictures, and a growing number of presentations. Our local organizer Dirk Pallapies and his co-workers did a very good job organizing this meeting in a city that is a real tourist hotspot.

The MODERNET meeting was held in Berlin, Germany on 13 and 14 February 2020. This event was the thirteenth in a row, after destinations such as Amsterdam, Manchester, Leuven, Rome, Bucharest, Paris, Zaragoza, Bologna, Lodi, Edinburgh, Dublin, and KoŇ°ice. Berlin joined the cities that welcomed the MODERNET community of occupational physicians, hygienists, toxicologists, and scientific workers in the field of occupational health. The event was organized by IPA and DGUV.

Thursday 13-02-20

During the first day, 14 presentations divided over 3 sessions were given. The first session was on Monitoring Occupational Diseases with presentations on the German situation by Dirk Pallapies, a Finnish registry study by Riitta Sauni, a French initiative with a multisource multilevel approach by Maylis Tell-Lamberton and trends of occupational diseases in the Italian agricultural sector by Henk van der Molen.

The second session was dedicated to New and Emerging Risks and Diseases in Occupational Health. Jelena Bakusic and Lode Godderis presented on monitoring of new work-related diseases and the plan for a European Sentinel Surveillance system for work and health. Nicole Palmen and Romy Marx gave their view on the risk management of new and emerging risks of chemicals in the Netherlands, Germany and possibly Europe. The presentation of Tor-Erik Danielson from Norway on an outbreak of severe pneumococcal disease in a shipyard caused a lot of discussion with more examples of the same problem in other countries.

After lunch, there was a session on Assessing Recent and Previous Exposure. Ingrid Sander presented on the quantification of allergenic enzymes using immunoassays. Claudio Colosio talked about a study to compare the expert assessment of asbestos exposure with an algorithm. Vincent Bonneterre presented how medico-administrative data might be used to estimate pesticide use in agricultural workers. The subject of the presentation of Daniela Pelclova was nanoTiO2 in sunscreen to protect against UV radiation: are they toxic, do they protect and do they pass the skin? Finally, Dominic Kehren presented on carbon fibres in respirable dust. In the last part of the afternoon, the French members from ANSES presented on OccWatch, a European system to assess and discuss cases of new or emerging work-related health risks.

Social event: visit with guided tour to the Bode Museum

Social event: eight-course dinner at Hostaria del Monte Croce

Friday 14-02-2020

Friday started with a session on New aspects of well-known hazards. Wolfgang Zschiesche presented on advanced technologies and materials creating new health hazards in the workplace. His main focus was on lasers and 3d printing of different materials. Dani Mirnik gave an overview of the work in Slovenia on diagnosing shift work disorder. In his talk on the emerging epidemic of accelerated silicosis, Malcolm Sim gave details on this growing problem inside and outside Australia. The last speaker in this session was Vincent Bonneterre who presented an approach to occupational health surveillance of French agricultural workers using health insurance databases.

In the last session for presentations, the theme was Building evidence for causal relations. Ana Barradas gave an overview of SWORD data with surveillance of respiratory disease over 30 years. Vincent Bonneterre showed how using new techniques like multi-elemental imaging can health detect occupational or environmental causes of idiopathic pulmonary pathologies. Henk van der Molen and Sofie Acke presented outcomes of recent systematic reviews for respectively, psychosocial risk factors in stress-related disorders and infectious disease risk associated with occupational exposure outside the health care sector. Finally, Annet Lenderink presented on finding answers to etiological questions on chemical exposure and health using public sources of information.

Discussion on collaboration and Modernet as a network

After lunch, there was an hour left to talk about new plans, a new meeting, membership issues, and new collaboration efforts. You will learn about this in due time. For now, it looks like there will be Modernet presence at the 33rd ICOH conference in March 2021 and our own Modernet meeting will take place somewhere in the second half of 2021 in the Netherlands. After the meeting, a nice group of participants walked up to the Reichstag to visit the Dome with great views over Berlin.

Visiting the Dome of the German Reichstag