Paint chemicals may harm sperms, male fertility

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A new study has revealed that chemicals used in paint emulsions may damage semen quality in males, making them infertile. The results of the study have been published in the ‘Occupational Environmental Medicine’ journal.

Researchers in Britain have found that men who regularly work with paints that include widely used solvents such as glycol ethers are 2.5 times more likely to have a low sperm count than those who use the substances infrequently.

The study, undertaken by the researchers from Manchester and Sheffield Universities, at 14 fertility clinics in 11 cities across Britain, examined the working lives of 2,118 men.

“We know that certain glycol ethers can affect male fertility and the use of these has reduced over the past two decades. However, our results suggest that they are still a workplace hazard and that further work is needed to reduce such exposure” said lead researcher Andy Povey of Manchester University.

Researchers found that men who had undergone previous surgery to the testicles or who undertook manual work were more likely to have low motile sperm counts, whereas men who drank alcohol regularly or wore boxer shorts were more likely to have better semen quality.

However, the Occupational and Environment Medicine study found a wide range of other chemicals had no impact on fertility.

Source: Occupational and Environment Medicine, UK

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