Fertility and Occupational hazards: Review of the Literature
AbstractWorkplace exposures and hazards have detrimental effects on many organ systems in the body including the reproductive system. The evidence of the reproductive effects of occupational hazards is obtained
through a synthesis of the available literature. These effects vary and overlap due to the multiple nature of exposures in the workplace. Hazardous agents include pesticides, solvents and heavy metals. The
reproductive effects include reduced fecundity, abnormal sperm quality, increased risk of low birth weight, miscarriages and permanent sterility. These problems are not readily identified as having occupational causes in developing countries such as Nigeria where infertility has a high family and social consequence. Epidemiological studies in Nigeria are needed to evaluate the reproductive effects of workplace exposures. Protective measures such as proper house keeping, education and the use of
personal protectives at the workplace are advocated (Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13:159-165).
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