Scand J Work Environ Health 1999;25 suppl 1:49-61    pdf

Objectives, designs and populations of the European Asclepios study on occupational hazards to male reproductive capability

by Bonde JPE, Joffe M, Danscher G, Apostoli P, Bisanti L, Giwercman A, Kolstad HA, Thonneau P, Roeleveld N, Vanhoorne M, Asclepios

The main objective of the Asclepios program was to examine occupational risk factors for the male reproductive system. The program focused on occupational exposure to fungicides (farmers, greenhouse workers, and vineyard workers), styrene (laminators in the reinforced plastics industry) and inorganic lead (battery workers, foundry workers, and lead smelters). Questionnaire studies of time to pregnancy were combined with longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of semen quality. The 8 data-collecting centers addressed 6553 male workers and contributed time-to-pregnancy values on the 3077 most recent pregnancies. Data collection was by interview or self-collection. The average response rate across all exposures and centers was 69.8%. The Asclepios project is the first international multicenter research project on environmental risks to male reproductive function. A protocol for epidemiologic research on occupational risk factors to the male reproductive system was developed, and links between epidemiologic and experimental units were established. The majority, but not all, of the studies was completed within the given time frame.

The following article refers to this text: 2006;32(5):359-367