INVITED REVIEW
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-30

Assessing the reproductive health of men with occupational exposures


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Correspondence Address:
Steven M Schrader
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Cincinnati, OH
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.122352

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The earliest report linking environmental (occupational) exposure to adverse human male reproductive effects dates back to1775 when an English physician, Percival Pott, reported a high incidence of scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps. This observation led to safety regulations in the form of bathing requirements for these workers. The fact that male-mediated reproductive harm in humans may be a result of toxicant exposures did not become firmly established until relatively recently, when Lancranjan studied lead-exposed workers in Romania in 1975, and later in 1977, when Whorton examined the effects of dibromochloropropane (DBCP) on male workers in California. Since these discoveries, several additional human reproductive toxicants have been identified through the convergence of laboratory and observational findings. Many research gaps remain, as the pool of potential human exposures with undetermined effects on male reproduction is vast. This review provides an overview of methods used to study the effects of exposures on male reproduction and their reproductive health, with a primary emphasis on the implementation and interpretation of human studies. Emphasis will be on occupational exposures, although much of the information is also useful in assessing environmental studies, occupational exposures are usually much higher and better defined.


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