Author(s): Kumar S
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Abstract Evidence suggestive of harmful effects of occupational exposure on the reproductive system and related outcomes has gradually accumulated in recent decades, and is further compounded by persistent environmental endocrine disruptive chemicals. These chemicals have been found to interfere with the function of the endocrine system, which is responsible for growth, sexual development and many other essential physiological functions. A number of occupations are being reported to be associated with reproductive dysfunction in males as well as in females. Generally, occupations involving the manufacture/or application of some of the persistent chemicals that are not easily degradable as well as bio-accumulative chemicals, occupations involving intensive exposure to heat and radiation, occupations involving the use of toxic solvents as well as toxic fumes are reported to be associated with reproductive dysfunction. Occupational exposure of males to various persistent chemicals have been reported to have male mediated adverse reproductive outcomes in the form of abortion, reduction in fertility etc. with inconclusive or limited evidence. Nevertheless, there is a need for more well designed studies in order to implicate any individual chemical having such effects as in most occupations workers are exposed to raw, intermediate and finished products and there are also several confounding factors associated with lifestyles responsible for reproductive dysfunction. There is an urgent need to look at indiscriminate use of persistent chemicals especially pesticides and persistent organic pollutants (POP's) as these chemicals enter the food chain also and could be potential for exposure during the critical period of development. It is also necessary to impart information, and to educate about the safe use of these chemicals, as a very sensitive reproduction issue is involved with exposure to these chemicals. Occupational exposures often are higher than environmental exposures, so that epidemiological studies should be conducted on these chemicals, on a priority basis, which are reported to have adverse effects on reproduction in the experimental system.
This article was published in J Occup Health
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry