Reproductive Hormones among Electroplaters Exposed to Chromium and Nickel at a Factory for Metallic Industries in Egypt

Shaker DA, Mohamed RS
2019 Egyptian Journal of Occupational Medicine  
introduction: Exposure to chromium (Cr) and nickel (Ni) is prevalent at workplace. Although they are toxic, human studies on their effect on the reproductive system are few and contradictory. aim of work: To evaluate the association of male reproductive hormone levels with the concentrations of blood chromium and nickel among electroplaters in a factory for metallic industries in Egypt. materials and methods: A cross sectional comparative study was conducted on 48 electroplating workers and 48
more » ... on-occupationally exposed subjects used as controls. Personal interview with specially designed questionnaire were fulfilled. Blood nickel and chromium concentrations were determined and the reproductive hormones levels [follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and inhibin] were assayed for all participants. Results: The study showed a statistically significant high levels of the mean values of blood Cr and Ni among electroplating workers compared to the control group (1.2±0.93 and 1.3±1.02 µg/L vs 0.4±0.1 and 0.39±0.2 µg/L respectively; p<0.001). Also, a statistically significant high levels of FSH and LH were detected among exposed workers (5.19±2.08 mIU/L and 6.85± 2.67 IU/L respectively) compared to controls (1.95±0.7 mIU/L and 3.97± 0.85 IU/L respectively) with low levels of testosterone and inhibin. Significant positive correlations (p<0.05) were found between FSH level and heavy metals (Cr and Ni) levels (r=0.28 and r=0.63; p=0.05 and p<0.002 respectively). Conversely, significantly negative correlations were detected as regards testosterone level (r=-.323 for chromium and r=-.571 for nickel; p<0.05 for each). Blood nickel was found to be a significant predictor for FSH and testosterone level, and smoking index was predictor for all measured reproductive hormones among exposed electroplaters. conclusion: Exposure to high levels of Cr and Ni might affect reproductive hormones levels among male electroplating workers. Regular wearing of good quality's personal protective equipment, especially masks and gloves, to decrease exposure to electroplating fumes, is highly recommended.
doi:10.21608/ejom.2019.47847 fatcat:y5vdce5oujgq3fbcfcu2ri4hca