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J Occup Health year 2005 volume 47 number 5 page 424 - 430
Classification Original
Title Semen Quality of Industrial Workers Occupationally Exposed to Chromium
Author Sunil KUMAR, NG SATHWARA, Anil K GAUTAM, Kamlesh AGARWAL, Bharti SHAH, Pradeep K KULKARNI, Kumud PATEL, Arun PATEL, Laxman M DAVE, Dinesh J PARIKH and Habibullah N SAIYED
Organization Reproductive Toxicology and Histochemistry Division, National Institute of Occupational Health (ICMR), India
Keywords Chromium, Semen characteristic, Sperm morphology, Metal toxicity, Zinc, Copper, Sperm motility, Sperm viability
Correspondence S. Kumar, Reproductive Toxicology and Histochemistry Division, National Institute of Occupational Health, Meghani Nagar, Ahmedabad 380016, India
(e-mail: sunilnioh@yahoo.com)
Abstract Semen Quality of Industrial Workers Occupationally Exposed to Chromium: Sunil KUMAR, et al. Reproductive Toxicology and Histochemistry Division, National Institute of Occupational Health (ICMR), India-A total of sixty-one subjects occupationally exposed to chromium in an industry which manufactures chromium sulphate and fifteen control subjects from a nearby industry which does not manufacture any chromium related compounds were studied. The history of each subject was recorded on pre-designed form through interview and a routine medical examination was carried out. Blood samples (5-6 ml) were collected for the estimation of chromium and semen samples were collected for semen analysis and the determination of copper and zinc levels in the seminal plasma. Clinical examination revealed nasal perforation in 10 subjects (out of 61) in the exposed group as compared to none in the control group. A significantly higher level of chromium was observed in the blood of the exposed workers as compared to the control. The concentration of zinc in seminal plasma was lower while the level of copper was higher in the exposed group as compared to the control. However, these changes were not statistically significant. Statistically significant higher numbers of morphologically abnormal sperms were noticed in the exposed group with respect to the control. Further analysis of the data indicated that about 53% of the exposed subjects showed less than 30% normal forms as compared to 10% in control subjects. However, no significant alterations in semen volume, liquefaction time, mean pH value, sperm viability, concentration or motility, were noticed between chromium exposed and unexposed workers. The data also indicates that exposure to chromium has some effect on human sperm as a significant positive correlation (r=0.301) was observed between percentages of abnormal sperm morphology and blood chromium levels (p=0.016) after pooling all the data of the control and exposure groups.