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Ind Health. 2003 Apr;41(2):55-62.

Effect of occupational exposures on male fertility: literature review.

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Department of Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


The present review was aimed to determine the influence of working conditions, occupational exposures to potential chemical and physical reproductive toxic agents and psychological stress during work on male fertility. Significant associations were reported between impaired semen parameters and the following chemical exposures: metals (lead, mercury), pesticides (dibromochlorophane, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), ethylene glycol ethers and estrogens. The following physical exposures were shown to deteriorate sperm parameters: radiation (both ionized and microwaves) and heat. Psychological distress has another important contribution to infertility. Several studies indicated that stress has a negative impact on sperm parameters. Occupational parameters should be an important part of history taking among patients attending infertility clinics.

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