Skip to main content

Table 2 Main disease groups with suspected or confirmed linkage to chemicals

From: Knowns and unknowns on burden of disease due to chemicals: a systematic review

Diseases/disease groups Examples of exposures Examples of associated outcomes [22, 66, 67]
Respiratory infections and chronic respiratory diseases Occupational exposures to dusts, gases, irritant chemicals, fumes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) [68, 69]
  Second-hand smoke; occupational exposures to cleaning-agents, pesticides, hairdressing chemicals etc. Asthma onset and exacerbation [28, 7072]
  Second-hand smoke Acute lower respiratory infections [28]
  Occupational exposure to asbestos Metal dusts, particulate matter Asbestosis Bronchitis, pneumoconiosis, silicosis
Perinatal conditions Maternal exposure to pesticides or other chemicals Low-birth-weight and preterm infants [7376]
Congenital anomalies Maternal exposure to pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), lead, mercury, other endocrine disruptors Various birth defects [77, 78]
Diseases of the blood Lead, arsine, naphthalene, benzene Anaemia, methaemoglobinemia
Cancers Occupational exposures to carcinogens, aflatoxins in food, second-hand smoke, outdoor air pollution by carbon particles associated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, asbestos, arsenic; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, pesticides, dioxins. etc. Numerous cancer sites, including of the lung, skin, liver, brain, kidney, prostate, bone marrow, bladder [7982]
Neuropsychiatric and developmental disorders Lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arsenic, toluene etc. Cognitive development, mental retardation, Parkinson disease, Attention-deficit disorder, Minamata disease [51, 78, 83, 84]
Sense organ diseases Carbon disulfide, mercury, lead Hearing loss
Cardiovascular diseases Ultrafine particles in polluted air, lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, pollutant gases, solvents, pesticides, second-hand smoke Ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease [28, 49, 85]
Diabetes mellitus Arsenic, N-3-pyridylmethyl-N'-p-nitrophenyl urea (rodenticide), 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Diabetes Type II [8689]
Systemic auto immune diseases Crystaline silica dust Systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic small vessel vasculitis [90]
Endocrine diseases Ethanol, hexachlorobenzene Porphyria
Genito-urinary diseases Beryllium, cadmium, lead Calculus of kidney, chronic renal disease
Digestive diseases Ethanol, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, manganese Hepatitis, cholestasis, pancreatitis
Skin diseases Antiseptics, aromatic amines, cement, dyes, formaldehyde, artificial fertilizers, cutting oils, fragrances, glues, lanolins, latex, metals, pesticides, potassium dichromate, preservatives Atopic dermatitis, allergic and irritant contact dermatitis, chloracne, hyperkeratosis [91]
Musculoskeletal diseases Cadmium, lead Osteoporosis, gout
Oral conditions Fluoride Dental fluorosis
Poisonings Accidental ingestion of household products, occupational exposures and accidents, intentional self-harm by ingestion of pesticides Unintentional poisonings, self-inflicted injuries [9294]