Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1988;14(1):27-30    pdf


Risk for reduced sperm quality among metal workers, with special reference to welders.

by Mortensen JT

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether men employed in the metal industry have sperm of poorer quality than men in other types of work. 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 the factors suspected to influence sperm quality were not present. By means of this questionnaire survey, it was hoped to define the possible influences of the work environment on sperm quality. Out of the total of 3,119 men included in the investigation, 2,517 (81%) filled out the questionnaire satisfactorily. Semen analysis was performed for all 3,119 men. There was a greater risk for poor sperm quality among welders than among men not employed in welding. The risk for poor sperm quality was increased for those welders who worked with stainless steel. Welding in general, and specifically with stainless steel, is connected with a risk of reduced sperm quality.