Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a group of metabolic diseases that may originate from an interaction between genetic and lifestyle risk factors. However, the possible role of occupational chemical exposures in the disease development and progression remains unclear. Therefore, this review aimed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the relationship between occupational exposure to specific chemical substances or industrial activities and DM morbidity and mortality outcomes. Although some positive findings may support the diabetogenic role of certain pesticides and dioxins in different workplaces, the variable conditions of exposure, the lack of quantitative environmental or biological monitoring data and the different outcomes evaluated do not allow defining a specific exposure-disease causality. Therefore, further epidemiological studies will be necessary to adequately assess modes of action for different substances, dose-response relationships as well as individual susceptibility factors potentially affecting the exposure-disease continuum. Overall, this appears important to adequately assess, communicate and manage risks in occupational chemical exposure settings with the aim to protect workers and build healthier job conditions for diabetic employees.
- Diabetes mellitus
- chemical exposure
- glucose homeostasis
- industrial activities
- risk assessment and management