January 2023 additions to NERDB

January 2023 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 is on the NERDB page

We will publish regular updates on new disease-exposure combinations we added to the database on the website. Currently, we have 368 entries. Ordered by the year in which the abstract is published

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New entries:

Picture by Antonio Cansino via Pixabay

Giulioni C, Maurizi V, Castellani D, Scarcella S, Skrami E, Balercia G, Galosi AB. The environmental and occupational influence of pesticides on male fertility: A systematic review of human studies. Andrology. 2022 Oct;10(7):1250-1271. doi: 10.1111/andr.13228. Epub 2022 Jul 18. PMID: 35793270; PMCID: PMC9541307.

Background: The environment plays a key role in male infertility, changing the incidence in various populations, and pesticides are one of the most studied hazards. The use of the latter has never decreased, jeopardizing the safety of workers and the general population.

Objective: Our purpose was to summarize the results of studies discussing the association between pesticides and male fertility.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed through MEDLINE via PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Only human studies were considered. Semen parameters and DNA integrity were considered to evaluate the effect of pesticides on men.

Results: A total of 64 studies that investigated their impact in terms of semen parameters (51 studies) and chromatin and DNA integrity (25 studies) were included. The most frequently affected parameters were total sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology, although a reduction in ejaculate volume and concentration occur in several cases. A tangible worsening of semen quality was associated with organochlorines and organophosphates. Furthermore, pesticide exposure, especially pyrethroids, was related to a higher DNA fragmentation index and chromosome aneuploidy in most articles.

Conclusion: The epidemiological evidence supports the association between pesticides and male fertility for workers and the exposed population in terms of semen quality, DNA fragmentation, and chromosome aneuploidy.

Hiller, J., Greiner, A. & Drexler, H. Respiratory afflictions during hairdressing jobs: case history and clinical evaluation of a large symptomatic case series. J Occup Med Toxicol 17, 10 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12995-022-00351-5

Objectives: Respiratory symptoms at work are common among hairdressers. Various working materials, most notably bleaching ingredients such as ammonium persulfate, have been made responsible. The objective of this study is to achieve a better understanding of work-related respiratory symptoms of hairdressers by describing common features in a large, affected collective.

Methods: One hundred forty-eight hairdressers with respiratory symptoms at work presenting between 2012 and 2019 were consecutively included in a case series. Anamnestic and diagnostic data including pulmonary function and allergy testing were retrospectively compiled from records and analysed. Additionally, cases were categorised in five groups with respect to occupational causation certainty.

Results: 30% of the predominantly female collective had changed jobs or were on longer sick-leave. Besides respiratory symptoms, 10% also reported contact urticaria to blonde dyes. In 60% an obstructive airway disease was confirmed. A specific hypersensitivity reaction to ammonium persulfate was found in 15%. Group 1 with a proven immunological occupational causation showed significantly lower age (p < 0.001) and tenure time (p = 0.001), higher sensitization rates against environmental allergens as well as a higher total IgE (p = 0.015), compared to group 4 (obstructive airway disease, specific occupational causation unlikely).

Conclusions: This case series contributes to a better characterization of work-related respiratory symptoms in hairdressing as one of the largest examined collectives of symptomatic hairdressers. Ammonium persulfate as the most common specific cause showed signs of a type-I-like hypersensitivity reaction with typical risk factors for atopy. Prick testing is recommended in all symptomatic cases. However, a specific occupational causation often cannot be proved.

Aydın B, Botan E, Gülensoy B, Akyol S. Hydranencephaly in a newborn due to occupational toluene exposure during pregnancy: a case report. Acute Crit Care. 2022 Jul 15. doi: 10.4266/acc.2021.01081. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35977900.

The etiopathogenesis of hydranencephaly remains unclear; however, exposure to toxic substances during pregnancy likely increases hydranencephaly risk. Head computed tomography (CT) was performed in a neonate 9 hours post-delivery because the anterior fontanelle was large and there were clinical signs of encephalopathy. Head CT revealed a lack of both cerebral hemispheres and significant cystic enlargement, while the cerebellar hemispheres and pons were found to have developed normally. History-taking revealed that the mother worked in the automotive industry, specifically in the car paint cleaning business, and was exposed to toluene during the pregnancy. The patient was diagnosed with hydranencephaly, central diabetes insipidus and central hypothyroidism. Due to the increased head circumference and tense anterior fontanelle, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was placed. Toluene exposure during pregnancy should be considered among the causes of hydranencephaly. Furthermore, central diabetes insipidus and central hypothyroidism may develop in such cases.

Goller, M., Dickel, H., & Nicolay, J. P. (2022). A case of immediate type allergy from polypropylene in a particle filter mask in a nurseContact Dermatitis.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the wearing of particle filter masks (FFP2 in Europe, N95 in US and KN95 in China) has become indispensable in many (medical) professions. While allergic contact dermatitis has occasionally been reported, immediate-type reactions have only rarely been documented

A 28-year-old non-atopic female nurse presented with suspected immediate-type hypersensitivity to FFP2 masks. She had started to develop erythematous, itchy macules and wheals of the face, décolleté and back, together with an occasional globus sensation and shortness of breath, within 30 min of wearing the masks. Extensive testing was necessary and revealed in the end that polypropylene was the substance causing the skin and respiratory problems.

Several cases of irritant rhinitis, irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, exacerbation of acne or rosacea and contact urticaria have been attributed to the wearing of medical masks. Identification of culprit allergens in masks is often difficult and hampered by the unwillingness of manufacturers to disclose information on their composition. Polypropylene, a declared ingredient of the culprit FFP2 masks in our case, has been described as a cause of contact dermatitis from surgical materials. Furthermore, polypropylene and medical masks have been described as triggers of contact urticaria, although in many cases the exact causative substance(s) remained unidentified.



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