Effects of exposure to ethylene glycol ethers on shipyard painters: II. Male reproduction.
Welch-LS; Schrader-SM; Turner-TW; Cullen-MR
Am J Ind Med 1988 Nov; 14(5):509-526
Efforts were made to determine whether exposures to 2-ethoxyethanol (110805) (2-EE) or 2-methoxyethanol (109864) (2-ME) while employed as a painter at a shipyard had any effect on male reproduction. Semen samples were collected from 73 painters and 40 comparisons. These samples were analyzed for pH, volume, turbidity, liquidity, viability by stain exclusion and hypoosmotic stress, sperm density and count per ejaculate, motility, morphology and morphometry. Serum samples were analyzed for testosterone, follicular stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. Analysis of the work environment indicated the men were exposed to 2-EE at a time weighted average (TWA) concentration of 0 to 80.5mg/m3 with a mean of 9.9mg/m3 and to 2-ME at a TWA of 0 to 17.7mg/m3 with a mean of 2.6mg/m3. Increased prevalence of oligospermia and azoospermia was noted among the painters as well as an increased odds ratio for a lower sperm count per ejaculate. The finding that ethylene-glycol ethers affect reproductive function was consistent with results of earlier experiments and epidemiologic studies.
NIOSH-Author; Ethanols; Inhalants; Reproductive-system-disorders; Shipyard-workers; Shipbuilding-industry; Organic-solvents; Solvent-vapors; Fertility; Reproductive-effects;
Author Keywords: infertility; oligospermia; azoospermia; 2-ethoxyethanol; 2-methoxyethanol; occupational disease
Dr. Laura S. Welch, Department of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20037
American Journal of Industrial Medicine