Effects of Occupational Chemicals Exposure on Diabetes Mellitus: A Review

Efreti F. Effiong *

Department of Biochemistry, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Itoro F. Usoh

Department of Biochemistry, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Utibe E. Ekpenyong

Department of Biochemistry, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Victor P. Udoh

Department of Biochemistry, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Victoria E. Okure

Department of Biochemistry, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by the disorder in carbohydrate metabolism and it is characterized by impairment in insulin production by the body cells.  Beta cells located within clusters of cells in the pancreas are responsible for the secretion of insulin whose role in the body is to stimulate cells to take up and metabolize glucose. Dysfunction of beta cells re usually found in people with diabetes mellitus and this results in reduced glucose uptake/metabolism by the cells. This work centers on a comprehensive review of possible relationships between occupational exposure to specific chemical substances or industrial activities and diabetes mellitus-related outcomes, including alterations in glucose homeostasis and diabetes mellitus incidence/prevalence or mortality. Many occupational chemicals have been seen to have adverse effects on diabetes mellitus. Such chemicals include metals like cadmium and arsenic, hydrocarbons like benzene, methane and organophosphates. Studies revealed that different concentrations of heavy metals increase the risk of diabetes mellitus. Exposure to toxic metals like cadmium due to uncontrolled pollution and industrialization increases defect in glucose uptake and other problems. Study on occupational chemical exposure disclosed that exposure to 0.84-mg/kg of cadmium in model organisms accelerated the concentration of   blood glucose.  Study also revealed that exposure of diabetic mice to volatile benzene-increases insulin resistance in the liver and skeletal muscle. Exposure to perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) which are used in fire-fighting foam, textiles, kitchen ware, and food packaging material have been shown to be associated with diabetes in an elderly population, backing the view that perfluorinated alkyl substances can alter glucose metabolism in humans and induce Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moreso, in this review, the complications associated with diabetics exposed to industrial chemicals is discussed and management highlighted.

Keywords: Diabetes, occupational chemicals, insulin resistance, beta cell dysfunction

How to Cite

Effiong , E. F., Usoh , I. F., Ekpenyong , U. E., Udoh , V. P., & Okure , V. E. (2023). Effects of Occupational Chemicals Exposure on Diabetes Mellitus: A Review. International Journal of Research and Reports in Hematology, 6(2), 203–217. Retrieved from https://journalijr2h.com/index.php/IJR2H/article/view/124


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