NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Reproductive effects of occupational exposures.
Am Fam Phys 1981 Aug; 24(2):161-165
Effects of occupational exposure to toxic materials on human reproductive capacity are reviewed. Employment trends and legal requirements in the treatment of pregnant workers are described. The need for a periodic reappraisal of hazards both inside and outside the workplace is emphasized. The six stages in which the human reproductive system is susceptible to environmental factors are identified. In stage 1, the production of release of sufficient viable sperm or ova may be affected. Stage 2 is characterized by mutations or chromosomal damage to the ova or sperm before fertilization. Exposure to vinyl-chloride (75014) may cause this type of effect. Environmental factors such as toxic secretions in the male reproductive tract may interfere with fertilization in stage 3. In stage 4, implementation of the ovum may be prevented by the local chemical environment. This effect may explain reduced fertility due to trichloroethylene (79016) exposure. Stage 5 is characterized by impaired growth and development of the embryo due to maternal/fetoplacental toxic effects such as those due to organic mercury (7439976) compounds. In stage 6, offspring can be affected after birth by the presence of toxins in breast milk. Toxins known to affect human reproduction and their effects are listed. The author concludes that increased efforts to evaluate workplace hazards to human reproduction are resulting in a better environment.
NIOSH-Grant; Occupational-hazards; Toxic-effects; Industrial-exposures; Reproductive-hazards; Chromosome-disorders; Workplace-studies; Biological-factors; Genetic-factors; Reproductive-system; Health-hazards
Environmental Health University of Minnesota 1158 Mayo Memorial Minneapolis, Minn 55455
75-01-4; 79-01-6; 7439-97-6
Issue of Publication
American Family Physician
University of Minnesota of Mnpls-St Paul, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division