Assessment of sexual hormones in foundry workers exposed to heat stress and electromagnetic fields.

Affiliation

Mohammadi H(1), Dehghan SF(2), Moradi N(3), Suri S(4), Pirposhteh EA(5), Ardakani SK(6), Golbabaei F(7).
Author information:
(1)Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)Department of Occupational Health and Safety, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(5)Department of Occupational Health and Safety at Work, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(6)Department of Biostatistics, School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(7)Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The presence of hazardous agents in workplaces has raised concerns regarding their possible impacts on male reproductive system. The present study investigated the individual and combined effects of exposure to heat stress and electromagnetic fields with low-frequency characteristics on the levels of sex hormones in two foundry sections (Aluminum and Cast Iron) of an automobile parts manufacturing plant. The level of workers' exposure (n = 110) to each of the mentioned stressors, was measured through standard methods and for each person and the time-weighted average (TWA) of exposure was calculated. The participants of each sections were classified into separate exposure groups based on the 33rd and 66th percentile of the level of to heat stress and electromagnetic fields exposure. In order to determine serum sex hormones, blood samples were taken from all participants between 7-9 am and then the blood samples were analyzed by ELISA method. In total of two sections, the lowest mean testosterone levels was observed in the third exposure group of the electromagnetic fields (magnetic field>1.40 μT; electric field >0.42 V/m), however, the mean difference in testosterone levels between the three different groups of exposure wasn't statistically significant (P > 0.05). According to the results of Logistic Regression, the electric field had the greatest effect on testosterone levels as the main male hormone. Drawing a definitive conclusion regarding the effects of each harmful physical hazards is difficult due to the existence of psychological stressors and other environmental stressors such as chemical pollution, ergonomic hazards and other physical stressors.