January 2021 additions to NERDB

January 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 from this month on regular updates on new disease – exposure combinations we added to the database. Currently, we have 280 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

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Last new entries:

Ronsmans, S., Verbeken, E. K., Adams, E., Keirsbilck, S., Yserbyt, J., Wuyts, W. A., … & Nemery, B. (2019). Granulomatous lung disease in two workers making light bulbsAmerican journal of industrial medicine62(10), 908-913.

Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash

Background: Associations between sarcoidosis or sarcoid‐like granulomatous lung disease and exposure to silica and other inorganic agents have been suggested in several studies.

Cases: We describe granulomatous lung disease in two workers of a small production unit making metal‐halide lamps. Initially, both were diagnosed with sarcoidosis. However, in both men, birefringent particles were observed in the lung or mediastinal lymph node biopsies. Clipping of glass tubes led to moderate exposure to dust, consisting mainly of amorphous fused silica, with some cristobalite. After removal from exposure, both subjects improved clinically, radiologically, and functionally.

Conclusion: The present cases support the hypothesis that silica might be a trigger for sarcoid‐like granulomatous lung disease. Sarcoidosis should be considered a diagnosis of exclusion and clinicians should carefully collect occupational and environmental exposure histories to identify workplace triggers.

Dickerson, A. S., Hansen, J., Thompson, S., Gredal, O., & Weisskopf, M. G. (2020). A mixtures approach to solvent exposures and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a population-based study in Denmark. European Journal of Epidemiology, 1-9.

Studies of occupational solvent exposures and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been conflicting. The authors conducted a population-based case-control study of mixed occupational solvent exposures and ALS. Using the Danish National Patient Registry, they identified ALS cases in Denmark from 1982 to 2013, and matched them to 100 controls based on sex and birth year. We estimated cumulative exposures to solvents (benzene, methylene chloride, toluene, trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane) via job exposure matrices and applied them to occupational history from the Danish Pension Fund.

Sex-stratified conditional logistic regression analyses revealed higher adjusted odds of ALS for men with exposure to benzene (aOR = 1.20; 95% CI 1.02, 1.41) and methylene chloride (aOR = 1.23; 95% CI 1.07, 1.42). They used weighted quantile sum regression to explore combined solvent exposures and risk of ALS in exposed subjects and found increased odds of 26 to 28% in all exposure lag periods for every one-unit increase in the mixture index in men. Weights of methylene chloride predominated the mixture index in all lag periods. Our study suggests an increased risk of ALS in men exposed to multiple solvents, with the greatest influence being from methylene chloride. These findings highlight the need to utilize mixtures analysis when considering co-occurring exposures.

de Vere, F., Moores, R., Dhadwal, K., & Karra, E. (2020). A severe case of metheamoglobinaemia in a Brazilian hairdresserBMJ Case Reports CP13(1).

Methaemoglobinaemia is an extremely rare condition with multiple causes, both genetic and acquired. The authors present a severe case of methaemoglobinaemia occurring in a Brazilian hairdresser working in the UK. She presented after several days of preparing popular ‘Brazilian blowdry’ treatments* for customers at a hair salon. She had been exposed to multiple volatile chemicals, including formaldehyde, without any respiratory protection, and we postulate that this may have caused her illness. If so, this would be the first published case of methaemoglobinaemia caused by exposure to the volatile components of beauty products.

* Brazilian blow dry or hair straightening treatment

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