July 2021 additions to NERDB

July 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 regular updates on new disease-exposure combinations we added to the database. Currently, we have 304 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

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Last new entries:

Picture by Erich Westendarp on Pixabay

Morotti A, Sollaku I, Catalani S, Franceschini F, Cavazzana I, Fredi M, Sala E, De Palma G. Systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies on the association of occupational exposure to free crystalline silica and systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 Jan 5;60(1):81-91. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa444. PMID: 33140090.

Some evidence suggests that exposure to free crystalline silica may contribute to the risk of developing SLE. A systematic search was carried out for all published epidemiological studies concerning this association. A meta-analysis was conducted on relevant studies. The authors searched PubMed and EMBASE databases for original articles published from 1960 to November 2019 in any language. In addition, the reference lists of included studies were searched manually for additional relevant articles. Finally, seven studies were included in the systematic review and six studies in the meta-analysis (four case-control and two cohort studies). The odds ratio and 95% CI were calculated using a random effect meta-analysis.

The meta-analysis of the studies, applying a random effect model, yielded an overall odds ratio of 3.49 (95% CI, 1.24, 9.83), with I2 = 92.36% (pronounced heterogeneity). We also stratified the meta-analysis by study design; case-control studies: odds ratio 1.85 (95% CI, 0.96, 3.59) with I2 = 75.92%; and cohort studies (cases with silicosis): odds ratio 9.71 (95% CI, 1.13, 83.58) with I2 = 72.65%. The obtained results support the hypothesis of a possible association between occupational exposure to free crystalline silica and SLE, in particular at higher exposure levels, known to induce silicosis. The studies that have investigated this association are still scarce, and the heterogeneity between the studies remains high. New studies are deemed necessary to confirm the association.

DeBono NL, Logar-Henderson C, Warden H, et al Cancer surveillance among workers in plastics and rubber manufacturing in Ontario, Canada Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2020;77:847-856.

Occupational exposure to agents in plastics and rubber manufacturing has been associated with elevated risk of certain cancers. The authors sought to evaluate cancer risk among workers employed in occupations and industries with these exposures as part of an ongoing surveillance program in Ontario, Canada. The Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) cohort was established using workers’ compensation claims data and includes 2.18 million workers employed from 1983 to 2014. Workers were followed for site-specific cancer diagnoses in the Ontario Cancer Registry through 2016. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate adjusted HR and 95% CI.

81 127 workers employed in plastics and rubber manufacturing industries or materials processing and product fabricating occupations were identified. Compared with all other women in the ODSS, those in materials processing occupations had an elevated rate of lung cancer (HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.58) that was not observed among men. An elevated rate of breast cancer was observed among female laborers (HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.82) and moulders (HR 1.47, 95% CI 0.91 to 2.37) in plastics and rubber product fabricating occupations. Overall, elevated rates were observed for esophageal, liver, stomach, prostate and kidney cancer in job-specific subgroups, including mixing and blending, bonding and cementing, and laboring. There was little evidence of association for lymphatic or hematopoietic cancers.

Findings for lung and breast cancer in women are consistent with other studies and warrant further attention in Ontario. Given the relatively young age at end of follow-up, surveillance in these workers should continue as the cohort ages.

Coste, A., Bailey, H.D., Kartal-Kaess, M. et al. Parental occupational exposure to pesticides and risk of childhood cancer in Switzerland: a census-based cohort studyBMC Cancer 20, 819 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-020-07319-w

Pesticide exposure is a suspected risk factor for childhood cancer. The authors investigated the risk of developing childhood cancer in relation to parental occupational exposure to pesticides in Switzerland for the period 1990–2015. From a nationwide census-based cohort study in Switzerland, children aged < 16 years at national censuses of 1990 and 2000 were included and followed until 2015. Parental occupations reported at the census closest to the birth year of the child were collected and exposure to pesticides was estimated using a job exposure matrix. Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for potential confounders, were fitted for the following outcomes: any cancer, leukemia, central nervous system tumors (CNST), lymphoma, non-CNS solid tumors.

Analyses of maternal (paternal) exposure were based on approximately 15.9 (15.1) million-person years at risk and included 1891 (1808) cases of cancer, of which 532 (503) were leukemia, 348 (337) lymphomas, 423 (399) CNST, and 588 (569) non-CNS solid tumors. The prevalence of high likelihood of exposure was 2.9% for mothers and 6.7% for fathers. No evidence of an association was found with maternal or paternal exposure for any of the outcomes, except for “non-CNS solid tumors” (High versus None; Father: adjusted HR [95%CI] =1.84 [1.31–2.58]; Mother: 1.79 [1.13–2.84]). No evidence of an association was found for main subtypes of leukemia and lymphoma. A post-hoc analysis on frequent subtypes of “non-CNS solid tumors” showed positive associations with wide CIs for some cancers.

The study suggests an increased risk for solid tumors other than in the CNS among children whose parents were occupationally exposed to pesticides; however, the small numbers of cases limited a closer investigation of cancer subtypes. Better exposure assessment and pooled studies are needed to further explore a possible link between specific childhood cancers types and parental occupational exposure to pesticides.

Baldi, I., De Graaf, L., Bouvier, G. et al. Occupational exposure to pesticides and central nervous system tumors: results from the CERENAT case–control studyCancer Causes Control 32, 773–782 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-021-01429-x

The etiology of the central nervous system (CNS) tumors remains largely unknown. The role of pesticide exposure has been suggested by several epidemiological studies, but with no definitive conclusion. To analyze associations between occupational pesticide exposure and primary CNS tumors in adults in the CERENAT study. CERENAT is a multicenter case–control study conducted in France in 2004–2006. Data about occupational pesticide uses—in and outside agriculture—were collected during detailed face-to-face interviews and reviewed by experts for consistency and exposure assignment. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated with conditional logistic regression.

A total of 596 cases (273 gliomas, 218 meningiomas, 105 others) and 1192 age- and sex-matched controls selected in the general population were analyzed. Direct and indirect exposures to pesticides in agriculture were respectively assigned to 125 (7.0%) and 629 (35.2%) individuals and exposure outside agriculture to 146 (8.2%) individuals. For overall agricultural exposure, we observed no increase in risk for all brain tumors (OR 1.04, 0.69–1.57) and a slight increase for gliomas (OR 1.37, 0.79–2.39). Risks for gliomas were higher when considering agricultural exposure for more than 10 years (OR 2.22, 0.94–5.24) and significantly trebled in open field agriculture (OR 3.58, 1.20–10.70). Increases in risk were also observed in non-agricultural exposures, especially in green space workers who were directly exposed (OR 1.89, 0.82–4.39), and these were statistically significant for those exposed for over 10 years (OR 2.84, 1.15–6.99). These data support some previous findings regarding the potential role of occupational exposures to pesticides in CNS tumors, both inside and outside agriculture.

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