September 2023 additions to NERDB

September 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 388 entries. Ordered by the year in which the abstract is published

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New entries:

Picture via Pixabay

Collatuzzo, G., Boffetta, P., Dika, E. et al. Occupational exposure to arsenic, mercury and UV radiation and risk of melanoma: a case–control study from Italy. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 96, 443–449 (2023).


Melanoma is mainly caused by sunlight radiation, but other environmental risk factors are not well known. We investigated the association between cutaneous melanoma and occupational exposure to arsenic, mercury and UV radiation.


A hospital-based case–control study was conducted in the inpatient wards of IDI-San Carlo Rome, Italy, including 304 incident cases of cutaneous melanoma and 305 frequency-matched controls. Detailed sociodemographic, clinical and host-related factors were collected, and all participants were physically examined using dermoscopy and following standard protocol for recording pigmented lesions.

Four experts assessed exposure to arsenic, mercury and UV radiation based on occupational history. A multidimensional variable was created for each risk factor, by combining intensity and probability of exposure. Multivariable logistic regression models were run to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of the association between exposure to these agents and melanoma.


A total of 5.4% of the cases vs 2.4% of the controls were exposed to arsenic (OR = 3.12; 95% CI = 1.10–8.86 for high probability and high exposure to arsenic) after controlling for sex, age, smoking status, number of nevi, phototype and history of sunburns in childhood/adolescence. Occupational exposure to mercury and UV radiation was not associated with the risk of melanoma.


Subjects exposed to arsenic at the workplace may be at increased risk of developing cutaneous melanoma in comparison to subjects not exposed to this agent. Further studies should be designed to investigate occupational exposure to arsenic and mercury and melanoma and confirm the findings are warranted.

Gliga, A. R., Grahn, K., Gustavsson, P., Ljungman, P., Albin, M., Selander, J., & Broberg, K. (2023). Short and long-term associations between serum proteins linked to cardiovascular disease and particle exposure among constructions workersScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health49(2), 145-154.

Objectives Construction workers are exposed to respirable dust, including respirable crystalline silica (RCS), which is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether exposure to particles among construction workers is associated with short- and long-term alterations in CVD-related serum proteins.

Methods Using proximity extension assay, we measured 92 serum proteins linked to CVD among active male construction workers (N=65, non-smokers) sampled on two occasions: during work and after vacation. First, we used linear models to identify short-term changes in proteins associated with particle exposure (assessed as respirable dust and RCS) during work. Secondly, we used linear mixed models to evaluate whether these associations were long-term, i.e., persistent after vacation.

Results The median exposure to respirable dust and RCS during work were 0.25 mg/m3 and 0.01 mg/m3, respectively. Respirable dust was associated with short-term changes in six proteins (tissue factor, growth hormone, heme oxygenase-1, dickkopf-related protein-1, platelet-derived growth factor-B, stem cell factor); long-term associations were observed for the former three proteins. RCS was associated with short-term changes in five proteins (carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule-8, hydroxyacid oxidase-1, tissue factor, carbonic anhydrase-5A, lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1); long-term associations were observed for the former four proteins.

Conclusions Moderate exposure to particles in the construction industry is associated with both short- and long-term changes in circulating CVD-related proteins. Further studies are needed to evaluate if these changes are predictors of occupationally induced clinical CVD.

Bauer, A., Pesonen, M., Brans, R., Caroppo, F., Dickel, H., Dugonik, A., … & Uter, W. (2023). Occupational contact allergy: The European perspective–Analysis of patch test data from ESSCA between 2011 and 2020Contact dermatitis88(4), 263-274.


Occupational skin diseases have led the occupational disease statistics in Europe for many years. Especially occupational allergic contact dermatitis is associated with a poor prognosis and low healing rates leading to an enormous burden for the affected individual and for society.


To present the sensitization frequencies to the most relevant allergens of the European baseline series in patients with occupational contact dermatitis (OCD) and to compare sensitization profiles of different occupations.


The data of 16 022 patients considered having OCD after patch testing within the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA) network between January 2011 and December 2020 were evaluated. Patients (n = 46 652) in whom an occupational causation was refuted served as a comparison group.


The highest percentages of OCD were found among patients working in agriculture, fishery and related workers, metal industry, chemical industry, followed by the building and construction industry, health care, food and service industry. Sensitizations to rubber chemicals (thiurams, carbamates, benzothiazoles) and epoxy resins were associated with at least a doubled risk of OCD.

After a decline from 2014 onwards, the risks of acquiring an occupation-related sensitization to methyl(chloro)isothiazolinone (MCI/MI) and especially to methylisothiazolinone (MI) seem to increase again. Sensitization rates to formaldehyde were stable, and to methyldibromo glutaronitrile (MDBGN) is slightly decreasing over time.


Among allergens in the European Baseline Series, occupational relevance is most frequently attributed to rubber accelerators, epoxy resins and preservatives.

Enderle I, De Lauzun V, Metten MA, Monperrus M, Delva F, Blanc-Petitjean P, Dananche B, Paris C, Zaros C, Le Lous M, Béranger R, Garlantézec R. Maternal occupational exposure to organic solvents and intrauterine growth in the ELFE cohort. Environ Res. 2023 May 1;224:115187. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.115187. Epub 2022 Dec 29. PMID: 36587719.

Background: In developed countries, about 15% of women are occupationally exposed to solvents. Associations between this maternal occupational exposure and intrauterine fetal growth are inconsistent, but almost no existing study has investigated this relation by solvent family (oxygenated, petroleum, and chlorinated), although they may affect fetal growth differently.

Objectives: To investigate the relations between maternal occupational solvent exposure, by solvent family, and the risk of neonates born small for gestational age (SGA), or with low birth weight, or with small head circumference (HC).

Methods: Among the 18,040 women enrolled in the Elfe rather than included in the Elfe birth cohort, we included 13,026 women who worked during pregnancy (72% of the cohort). Information about maternal occupations and industrial activities during pregnancy was collected by questionnaire at the maternity ward and completed at 2 months when necessary.

Using Matgéné job-exposure matrices, we assessed maternal occupational exposure to solvents. Logistic and multiple linear regressions were used to assess the association between maternal occupational solvent exposure and SGA status, birth weight, and HC. Analyses were conducted for exposure during pregnancy and also stratified by the trimester that pregnancy leave began.

Results: We observed a higher risk of SGA newborns among mothers occupationally exposed during pregnancy to petroleum solvents (ORadjusted = 1.26; 95%CI: 1.01 to 1.57). Among women working until the third trimester of pregnancy, we observed a higher risk of SGA newborns to those occupationally exposed to oxygenated solvents (ORadjusted = 1.75; 95%CI: 1.11 to 2.75), a significantly lower birthweight for infants of mothers exposed to petroleum solvents (βadjusted = -47.37 g; -89.33 to -5.42), and a lower HC among newborns of those occupationally exposed to oxygenated solvents (βadjusted = -0.28; -0.49 to -0.07) and to chlorinated solvents (βadjusted = -0.29; -0.53 to -0.05).

Discussion: Our results suggest that maternal occupational solvent exposure may influence fetal growth, especially exposure into the third trimester of pregnancy.



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