Registration Dossier

Toxicological information

Exposure related observations in humans: other data

Administrative data

Endpoint:
exposure-related observations in humans: other data
Type of information:
other: assessment of sperm quality among metal workers with special reference to welders
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
Study period:
1 January 1981 to 31 December 1983
Reliability:
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Well reported investigation with clearly defined assessment criteria.

Data source

Reference
Reference Type:
publication
Title:
Risk for reduced sperm quality among metal workers, with special reference to welders
Author:
Mortensen, J. T.
Year:
1988
Bibliographic source:
Scan J Work Environ Health 14 (27-30)

Materials and methods

Endpoint addressed:
toxicity to reproduction / fertility
Test guideline
Qualifier:
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
A postal questionnaire was sent to men employed in the metal industry, certain other types of nonmetal industries, and other types of employment in which factors suspected to influence sperm quality were not present. In addition, semen analyses were conducted on all of the men questioned.
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Reference substance name:
2,2'-diallyl-4,4'-sulfonyldiphenol
EC Number:
411-570-9
EC Name:
2,2'-diallyl-4,4'-sulfonyldiphenol
Cas Number:
41481-66-7
Molecular formula:
Hill formula: C18 H18 O4 S CAS formula: C18 H18 O4 S
IUPAC Name:
2,2'-Diallyl-4,4'-sulfonyldiphenol
Details on test material:
Metal dusts and fumes produced during metal working, specifically during welding. Welding fume is likely to include particulates of chromium, nickel, manganese, copper, cadmium and iron.

Method

Ethical approval:
other: the men included in the study were those who, in connection with fertility problems, had delivered a sample or samples of semen to one of the hospitals.
Details on study design:
During December 1984, a postal questionnaire was sent to the men in Aalborg, Odense and Soenderborg. The men in Aarhus were not sent the questionnaire because they filler out a similar questionnaire at the time of their consultation concerning their fertility problem.
The questionnaire included questions on the specific exposures of the men in their work environment six months before they submitted their semen specimens. Questions on the nonoccupational exposure of the men, as well as smoking habits, alcohol intake, and their consumption of medicines, were also included. There were also questions concerning health, illness, and disease, as well as questions concerning social and educational status.
The semen analyses in all four hospitals were performed by trained technicians. The morphological diagnosis was performed by a physician.
Exposure assessment:
not specified
Details on exposure:
The possible exposures in the metal industry are metal dust, cutting oil, refrigerant greasing agents, and organic solvents. In welding work, the possible exposures are metals such as aluminium, cadmium, iron, chromium, and nickel, as well as nitrous gases and ozone.
Attention has been directed towards the contents of smoke generated by welding on stainless steel. This smoke contains chromium, nickel, manganese, copper, cadmium, and iron.
Other exposures that could possibly influence the quality of sperm are heat and ionising radiation.

the men in the study could be divided into four groups, as follows:
i) welders
ii) mealt workers not exposed to welding
iii) other industrial workers
iV) unexposed workers

Results and discussion

Results:
There was an added risk for poor sperm quality among welders when they were compared with men not exposed to chemical or physical agents suspected of influencing sperm quality.

Any other information on results incl. tables

Even after geographical stratification, the welders had an increased risk of poor sperm quality, and the risk was statistically significant. The association was present even after control for the fertility status of the wife.

Except for the men in in Aarhus, information was available on the extent to which the men had been exposed to welding on stainless steel or on non-stainless steel metals daily or weekly over the six month period prior to the submission of the semen sample for analysis.

When welders were grouped according to work on non-stainless steel metals and work on stainless steel, the likelihood for poor sperm quality showed a sharp rise and that for the welders working on non-stainless steel metals dropped in comparison to the non-welders.

There was an increased frequency of medication use among the welders as compared to that of the men not exposed to chemical or physical agents suspected of influencing sperm quality. There was no association between the other possible cofounders and occupation as a welder.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Conclusions:
There was an added risk for poor sperm quality among welders when they were compared with men not exposed to chemical or physical agents suspected of influencing sperm quality.
Executive summary:

The risk for reduced sperm quality among metal workers, with special reference to welders, was investigated. A postal questionnaire was sent to men employed in the metal industry, certain other types of nonmetal industries, and other types of employment in which factors suspected to influence sperm quality were not present. In addition, semen analyses were conducted on all of the men questioned.

Findings from the investigation revealed there was a greater risk for poor sperm quality among welders than among men not employed in welding. the risk of poor sperm quality was increased for those welders who worked with stainless steel. Welding in general, and specifically with stainless steel, in connected with a risk of reduced sperm quality.