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 Obvibase.

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 224 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

20093unknown year6
Production of disposable bottles
Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

Last new entries

Bao W, Liu B, Simonsen DW, Lehmler H. Association Between Exposure to Pyrethroid Insecticides and Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in the General US Adult PopulationJAMA Intern Med. Published online December 30, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.6019

Key Points: Researchers studied the question: “Is pyrethroid exposure associated with long-term mortality in the general US adult population?” They did so in a cohort study of a nationally representative sample of 2116 adults in the United States. Being higher exposure to pyrethroid insecticides, indicated by higher levels of general pyrethroid metabolite 3-phenoxybenzoic acid in urine samples, was associated with a higher risk of death from all causes or cardiovascular disease over 14 years of observation. This means that environmental exposure to pyrethroid insecticides appears to be associated with an increased risk of long-term all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality in the US general adult population.

Results in the abstract: This cohort study of 2116 adults comprised 1145 women (weighted proportion, 51.6%) and 971 men (weighted, 48.4%), with a weighted mean (SE) age of 42.6 (0.5) years; 958 participants (weighted, 68.4%) were of non-Hispanic white ancestry, 646 (weighted, 14.7%) of Hispanic ancestry, 419 (weighted, 11.3%) of non-Hispanic black ancestry, and 93 (weighted, 5.6%) of other ancestries. During a median of 14.4 years (range, 0.1-16.8 years) of observation, 246 deaths occurred, including 41 associated with cardiovascular disease and 52 associated with cancer. Participants with higher urinary 3-phenoxybenzoic acid levels were at a higher risk of death during the follow-up period, with death occurring in 8.5% (unweighted, 75 of 709), 10.2% (unweighted, 81 of 701), and 11.9% (unweighted, 90 of 706) of participants across increasing tertiles of urinary 3-phenoxybenzoic acid levels. After adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, dietary and lifestyle factors, body mass index, and urinary creatinine levels, the hazard ratios for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and cancer mortality among participants with the highest tertile compared with those with the lowest tertile of urinary 3-phenoxybenzoic acid levels were 1.56 (95% CI, 1.08-2.26), 3.00 (95% CI, 1.02-8.80), and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.31-2.72), respectively.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this nationally representative sample of US adults, environmental exposure to pyrethroid insecticides was associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. Further studies are needed to replicate the findings and determine the underlying mechanisms.

Hjuler Boudigaard S, Stokholm ZA, Vestergaard JM, et al. A follow-up study of occupational styrene exposure and risk of autoimmune rheumatic diseases Occup Environ Med Epub ahead of print: [please include Day Month Year]. doi:10.1136/ oemed-2019-106018

Increased risk has been suggested for autoimmune rheumatic diseases following solvent exposure. The evidence for specific solvents is limited, and little is known about exposure-response relations. Styrene is an aromatic, organic solvent and the objective of this study was to analyze the association between occupational styrene exposure and autoimmune rheumatic diseases in men and women. The researchers followed 72,212 styrene-exposed workers of the Danish reinforced plastics industry from 1979 to 2012. They modeled a full work history of styrene exposure from employment history, survey data, and historical styrene exposure measurements. We identified cases in the national patient registry and investigated gender-specific exposure-response relations by cumulative styrene exposure for different exposure time windows adjusting for age, calendar year and educational level.

During 1,515,126 person-years of follow-up, we identified 718 cases of an autoimmune rheumatic disease, of which 73% were rheumatoid arthritis. When adjusting for potential confounders and comparing the highest with the lowest styrene exposure tertile, they observed a statistically non-significantly increased risk of systemic sclerosis among women (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=2.50; 95% CI 0.50 to 12.50) and men (IRR=1.86; 95% CI 0.50 to 7.00), based on 9 and 22 cases, respectively. Results were inconsistent for the other autoimmune rheumatic diseases examined. This study suggests an association between occupational styrene exposure and systemic sclerosis in men as well as in women but based on a few cases. This is a new finding and has to be replicated before conclusions can be drawn.

Sartorelli, P., d’Hauw, G., Spina, D., Volterrani, L., Mazzei, M. A. (2019). A case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in a worker exposed to terephthalic acid in the production of polyethylene terephthalateInternational Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health.

Occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis (OHP) is an interstitial lung disease caused by sensitization to an inhaled antigen. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is mainly used for disposable beverage bottles. A clinical case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) in a 66-year-old patient in the follow-up as a worker formerly exposed to asbestos is presented. At the first visit in 2012, a diagnosis of asbestosis and pleural plaques was formulated. In 2017 the high resolution computed tomography was performed demonstrating a slight progression of the pulmonary fibrosis, while physical examinations revealed inspiratory crackles on auscultation, and lung function tests showed a decreased diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide. The radiological and histological pictures were compatible with HP. From 1992 to 2013 the patient worked in a chemical company that produced PET for disposable beverage bottles. A diagnosis of OHP was made, and the most likely causative agents were terephthalic acid and dimethyl terephthalate. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of an OHP case in PET production.