January 2022 additions to NERDB

January 2022 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 327 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

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Last new entries:

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Wang B, Han L, Wang K, Zhou Y, Pu Y, Zhang J, Zhu B. Gender differences in hematotoxicity of benzene-exposed workers, three cross-sectional studies on 218,061 subjects. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Oct;28(40):57297-57307. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-14657-0. Epub 2021 Jun 4. PMID: 34089161.

The aim of the study was to analyze the effects of benzene exposure on hematotoxicity in workers, with a focus on gender differences.

The study was divided into three parts, and the survey included 218,061 workers. Since 2017, some workers are selected from the total workers each year to explore the possible influencing factors (age, duration of benzene exposure, TWA (8-h time-weighted average) of benzene, SPMA (S-phenylmercapturic acid), MDA (malondialdehyde), 8-OHdG (8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine) of different hematotoxicity of different genders).

The abnormal rate of WBC (white blood cell), ANC (absolute neutrophil count), and platelets of female workers in the benzene exposure group was higher than that of males in the benzene exposure group and also higher than that of the female workers in the control group. Research results in 2019 showed increased SPMA as well as increased their DNA damage including 8-OHdG and MDA in benzene-exposed female workers compared to those in the control female group (all p < 0.05. SPMA, 8-OHdG, and MDA in benzene exposure female workers increased 555%, 183%, and 33.3%, respectively).

Female workers are at significantly higher risk for blood system effects of benzene exposure. Therefore, more stringent standards and guidelines may be needed to protect the changing professional population, especially for females.

Mikkelsen, S., Coggon, D., Andersen, J.H. et al. Are depressive disorders caused by psychosocial stressors at work? A systematic review with meta-analysisEur J Epidemiol 36, 479–496 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00725-9.

In the last decade, many studies have examined associations between poor psychosocial work environment and depression. The authors aimed to assess the evidence for a causal association between psychosocial factors at work and depressive disorders.

They conducted a systematic literature search from 1980 to March 2019. For all exposures other than night and shift work and long working hours, we limited our selection of studies to those with a longitudinal design. We extracted available risk estimates for each of 19 psychosocial exposures, from which we calculated summary risk estimates with 95% confidence intervals (PROSPERO, identifier CRD42019130266). 54 studies were included, addressing 19 exposures and 11 different measures of depression. Only data on depressive episodes were sufficient for evaluation. Heterogeneity of exposure definitions and ascertainment, outcome measures, risk parameterization, and effect contrast limited the validity of meta-analyses.

Summary risk estimates were above unity for all but one exposure, and below 1.60 for all but another. Outcome measures were liable to high rates of false positives, control of relevant confounding was mostly inadequate, and common method bias was likely in a large proportion of studies. The combination of resulting biases is likely to have inflated observed effect estimates. When statistical uncertainties and the potential for bias and confounding are taken into account, it is not possible to conclude with confidence that any of the psychosocial exposures at work included in this review is either likely or unlikely to cause depressive episodes or recurrent depressive disorders.

Seçin, I., Uijen, M. J., Driessen, C. M., van Herpen, C. M., & Scheepers, P. T. (2021). Case Report: Two Cases of Salivary Duct Carcinoma in Workers With a History of Chromate ExposureFrontiers in Medicine, 1869.

Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC), one subtype of the 22 different salivary gland cancers, is a rare malignancy. Risk factors for the development of salivary gland cancer and SDC are largely unknown, although pollution has been described as one of the risk factors. In other cancers, especially lung cancer, the carcinogenicity of chromium VI [Cr(VI)] is well-known. Here we report on two SDC patients who were occupationally exposed to Cr(VI) and discuss a potential relationship between their Cr(VI) exposure and the occurrence of SDC.

Case Presentation: The work history of two SDC patients was analyzed for chemical exposures. Both patients had a history of Cr(VI) exposure, with the maintenance of military equipment considered as the source for this exposure. Inhalation of Cr(VI) containing particles from the removal of old paint by mechanical abrasion was identified as a probable source of exposure for both patients, and one of these patients also applied new paint. Both patients reported not to have used any respiratory protection, which may have resulted in substantial inhalation of Cr(VI)-containing chromates. Furthermore, in one patient, inhalation of fumes from soldering may have resulted in relevant co-exposure.

The authors conclude that a causal relation between Cr(VI) exposure and SDC, a rare form of cancer, cannot be demonstrated on an individual basis, but detection in a population-based study is also unlikely because of the extremely low prevalence. Nevertheless, the work history is considered a relevant risk factor in the onset of SDC as occupational exposures to Cr(VI) occurred in a poorly ventilated working environment and without using appropriate respiratory protective equipment.



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