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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


YUCRA, Sandra; GASCO, Manuel; RUBIO, Julio  and  GONZALES, Gustavo F.. Occupational exposure to lead and organophosphorus pesticides: effect on male reproductive health. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.4, pp.394-402. ISSN 1726-4634.

Nowadays there is an increased occupational exposure to different pollutants such as heavy metals and pesticides, because of the significant growth in industrial, mining, and agriculture activities. Adverse effects on human health can be observed in the respiratory, renal, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems, being the latter quite susceptible to many physical and chemical agents generated by industrial or agricultural activities. These agents are present in some specific activities or in the environment. Evidence from toxicological, epidemiological, biochemical, and physicioligal studies shows that lead has adverse effects on health of workers exposed to different concentrations of this metal, and the exposure may lead to male infertility. These negative effects include: libido reduction, impaired spermatogenesis (reduction in sperm number and motility, and increased number of abnormal sperm), chromosomal damage, abnormal prostate function, and changes in testosterone levels. In the case of organophosphorus pesticides (OPs), agriculture workers are at high risk for occupational and non-occupational exposure to these chemicals, because of their extensive use in agriculture and the household environment. OPs have been proven also to affect male reproductive system because of testicular toxicity leading to cytotoxic and cytokinetic reversible alterations in germinal cells, alterating androgen synthesis and quality of semen in exposed persons, particularly those individuals working in agriculture. This review focuses on the adverse effects on male reproductive function caused by occupational exposure to lead and organophosphorus compounds

Keywords : Insecticedes; Organophosphate; Lead; Infertility; Occupational exposure; Contamination.

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