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Semen study of papaya workers exposed to ethylene dibromide.
Ratcliffe-JM; Schrader-SM; Steenland-K; Clapp-D; Turner-T; Hornung-RW
A cross sectional semen and cytogenetic study was performed on male workers exposed to ethylene-dibromide (106934) (EDB) in the papaya fumigation industry in Hawaii. Semen analyses were conducted on 46 men in six fumigation facilities with an average length of employment of 5 years and airborne exposures to EDB ranging from 16 to 213 parts per billion. Statistically significant decreases in sperm count per ejaculate and the percentage of viable and motile sperm and increases in the proportion of specific morphological abnormalities were observed among exposed men when compared with controls. Semen volume and sperm concentration were also lower in the exposed group. No effect of exposure to EDB on sperm velocity, the overall proportion of sperm with normal morphology or YFF bodies was noted. The authors conclude that based on the decreases in sperm count, viability and motility and increases in certain types of morphological abnormalities among workers exposed to EDB, EDB may increase the risk of reproductive impairment in workers at exposure levels near the NIOSH recommended limit of 45 parts per billion and far below the current OSHA standard of 20 parts per million.
NIOSH-Author; Spermatogenesis; Reproductive-hazards; Fumigants; Genetics; Ethylenes; Bromides
NTIS Accession No.
NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division