June 2022 additions to NERDB

June 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 is 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 342 entries. Ordered by year in which the abstract is published

unknown year620226

New entries:

Photo of Erdenebayar Bayansan via Pixabay

Westberg H, Hedbrant A, Persson A, Bryngelsson IL, Johansson A, Ericsson A, Sjögren B, Stockfelt L, Särndahl E, Andersson L. Inflammatory and coagulatory markers and exposure to different size fractions of particle mass, number and surface area air concentrations in Swedish iron foundries, in particular respirable quartz. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2019 Nov;92(8):1087-1098. doi: 10.1007/s00420-019-01446-z. Epub 2019 Jun 4. PMID: 31165309; PMCID: PMC6814634..

The purpose was to study the relationship between inhalation of airborne particles and quartz in Swedish iron foundries and markers of inflammation and coagulation in blood.

Methods: Personal sampling of respirable dust and quartz was performed for 85 subjects in three Swedish iron foundries. Stationary measurements were used to study the concentrations of respirable dust and quartz, inhalable and total dust, PM10 and PM2.5, as well as the particle surface area and the particle number concentrations.

Markers of inflammation, namely interleukins (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-12), C-reactive protein, and serum amyloid A (SAA) were measured in plasma or serum, together with markers of coagulation including fibrinogen, factor VIII (FVIII), von Willebrand factor and d-dimer.

Complete sampling was performed on the second or third day of a working week after a work-free weekend, and follow-up samples were collected 2 days later. A mixed model analysis was performed including sex, age, smoking, infections, blood group, sampling day and BMI as covariates.

Results: The average 8-h time-weighted average air concentrations of respirable dust and quartz were 0.85 mg/m3 and 0.052 mg/m3, respectively. Participants in high-exposure groups with respect to some of the measured particle types exhibited significantly elevated levels of SAA, fibrinogen and FVIII.

Conclusions: These observed relationships between particle exposure and inflammatory markers may indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease among foundry workers with high particulate exposure.

Letellier, N., Gutierrez, L. A., Pilorget, C., Artaud, F., Descatha, A., Ozguler, A., … & Berr, C. (2022). Association Between Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde and Cognitive ImpairmentNeurology98(6), e633-e640.

Background and Objectives To our knowledge, no study has investigated the effect of exposure to formaldehyde on cognition in the general population. Our objective was to examine the association between occupational exposure to formaldehyde and cognitive impairment in middle-aged and young-old adults (≥45 years).

Methods In the French CONSTANCES cohort, cognitive function was assessed with a standardized battery of 7 cognitive tests to evaluate global cognitive function, episodic verbal memory, language abilities, and executive functions (e.g., Digit Symbol Substitution Test [DSST]). A global cognitive score was created using principal component analysis. Cognitive impairment was assessed in reference to norms of neuropsychological battery according to age, sex, and education. Lifetime exposure to formaldehyde was assessed using a French Job Exposure Matrix created in the framework of the Matgéné project. After performing multiple imputation, separate modified Poisson regression models were used to evaluate the association between cognitive impairment (<25th percentile) and formaldehyde exposure (exposed/never exposed), exposure duration, cumulative exposure index (CEI), and combination of CEI and time of last exposure.

Results Among 75,322 participants (median age 57.5 years, 53% women), 8% were exposed to formaldehyde during their professional life. These participants were at higher risk of global cognitive impairment (for global cognitive score: adjusted relative risk [aRR] 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11–1.23), after adjusting for confounders (age, sex, education, income, solvent exposure, Effort–Reward Imbalance, night shift, repetitive work, and noisy work). They were at higher risk of cognitive impairment for all cognitive domains explored. Longer exposure duration and high CEI were associated with cognitive impairment, with a dose–effect relationship for exposure duration. Recent exposure was associated with impairment in all cognitive domains. Time did not fully attenuate formaldehyde-associated cognitive deficits especially in highly exposed individuals (for DSST: high past exposure aRR 1.23; 95% CI 1.11–1.36; high recent exposure: aRR 1.24; 95% CI 1.13–1.35).

Discussion Our findings highlight the long-term detrimental effect of formaldehyde exposure on cognitive health in a relatively young population.

Spinder, N., Bergman, J. E. H., van Tongeren, M., Boezen, H. M., Kromhout, H., & de Walle, H. E. K. (2021). Maternal occupational exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and urogenital anomalies in the offspring. Human Reproduction,[deab205]. 

STUDY QUESTION: Is there an association between maternal occupational exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) early in pregnancy and subgroups of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), and hypospadias?

SUMMARY ANSWER: Exposure to specific EDCs can increase the risk of CAKUT and no association with hypospadias was observed.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Previous studies showed an association between maternal occupational exposure to EDCs and hypospadias. However, little is known about the effect of these chemicals on the development of CAKUT, especially in subgroups of urinary tract anomalies.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: For this case-control study, cases with urogenital anomalies from the European Concerted Action on Congenital Anomalies and Twins Northern Netherlands (Eurocat NNL) registry and non-malformed controls from the Lifelines children cohort (living in the same catchment region as Eurocat NNL) born between 1997 and 2013 were selected. This study included 530 cases with CAKUT, 364 cases with hypospadias, 7 cases with both a urinary tract anomaly and hypospadias and 5602 non-malformed
controls. Cases with a genetic or chromosomal anomaly were excluded, and to avoid genetic correlation, we also excluded cases in which a sibling with the same defect was included.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Information on maternal occupation held early in pregnancy was collected via self-administered questionnaires. Job titles were translated into occupational exposure to EDCs using a job-exposure matrix (JEM). Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% CIs were estimated to assess the association between maternal occupational exposure to EDCs (and to specific types of EDCs) and CAKUT and hypospadias.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: For CAKUT and hypospadias, 23.1% and 22.9% of the cases were exposed to EDCs, respectively, whereas 19.8% of the controls were exposed. We found an association between maternal occupational exposure to organic solvents/alkylphenolic compounds and CAKUT (aOR 1.41, 95% CI 1.01–1.97) that became stronger when combinations of urinary tract anomalies co-occurred with other defects (aOR 7.51, 95% CI 2.41–23.43).

An association was also observed for exposure to phthalates/benzophenone/parabens/siloxanes and CAKUT (aOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.06–2.29), specifically urinary collecting system anomalies (aOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.03–2.54) and combinations of urinary tract anomalies (aOR 2.90, 95% CI 1.09–7.71). We observed no association
between EDC exposure and hypospadias.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The different study designs of Eurocat NNL and Lifelines could have introduced differential information bias. Also, exposure misclassification could be an issue: it is possible that the actual exposure differed from the exposure estimated by the JEM. In addition, women could also have been exposed to other exposures not included in the analysis, which could have resulted in residual confounding by co-exposures.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Women, their healthcare providers, and their employers need to be aware that occupational exposure to specific EDCs early in pregnancy may be associated with CAKUT in their offspring. An occupational hygienist should be consulted in order to take exposure to those specific EDCs into consideration when risk assessments are carried out at the workplace.

Siegel MR, Rocheleau CM, Broadwater K, Santiago-Colón A, Johnson CY, Herdt ML, Chen IC, Lawson CC; National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal occupation as a nail technician or hairdresser during pregnancy and birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2011. Occup Environ Med. 2022 Jan;79(1):17-23. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2021-107561. Epub 2021 Jun 30. PMID: 34193593; PMCID: PMC8991319.

Nail technicians and hairdressers may be exposed to chemicals with potential reproductive effects. While studies have examined birth defects in children of hairdressers, those in children of nail technicians have not been evaluated. The authors investigated associations between selected birth defects and maternal occupation as a nail technician or hairdresser versus a non-cosmetology occupation during pregnancy.

They analysed population-based case-control data from the multisite National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2011. Cases were fetuses or infants with major structural birth defects; controls were live-born infants without major birth defects. Expert raters classified self-reported maternal jobs as a nail technician, combination nail technician-hairdresser, hairdresser, other cosmetology work or non-cosmetology work. We used logistic regression to calculate adjusted ORs and 95% CIs for associations between occupation during pregnancy and birth defects, controlling for age, smoking, education and race/ethnicity.

The authors found that sixty-one mothers worked as nail technicians, 196 as hairdressers, 39 as combination nail technician-hairdressers, and 42 810 as non-cosmetologists. The strongest associations among nail technicians included seven congenital heart defect (CHD) groups (ORs ranging from 2.7 to 3.5) and neural tube defects (OR=2.6, CI=0.8 to 8.4). Birth defects most strongly associated with hairdressing included anotia/microtia (OR=2.1, CI=0.6 to 6.9) and cleft lip with cleft palate (OR=2.0, CI=1.1 to 3.7). All oral cleft groups were associated with combination nail technician-hairdresser work (ORs ranging from 4.2 to 5.3).

So the authors conclude that they found small samples resulted in wide CIs. Still, results suggest associations between maternal nail technician work during pregnancy and CHDs and between hairdressing work and oral clefts.

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