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The Impact of E-waste Occupational Exposure on Male Reproductive Health
American Journal of Health Research
Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2016, Pages: 70-74
Received: Apr. 25, 2016; Accepted: May 11, 2016; Published: May 28, 2016
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Zhihai Deng, Department of Urology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China
Yude Hong, Department of Urology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China
Baiwei Tang, Department of Urology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China
Weibo Liang, Department of Urology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China
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Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) contains multiple toxic materials. However, there is currently a lack of exposure data on workers in formal recycling plants. This study aims to observe the influence of electronic waste (e-waste) on male’s reproductive health and to provide a theoretical foundation for improving the occupational safety. A survey and sample collections were performed based on 210 workers in e-waste recycling plant as the exposure group and 210 residents who worked at the same area but not exposed to e-waste (other jobs) as the control group. Semen sperm analysis and TUNEL assay were applied to detect the apoptotic rate and single comet assay to detect DNA damage. The survey results showed that infertility rate of e-waste recycling workers was significantly higher than that of non-occupationally exposed workers (P < 0.05); e-waste occupationally exposed workers showed markedly higher rate of prostatitis, urethritis, abortion and preterm birth of their spouses (P < 0.05). The percentage of sperm concentration, motile sperm, ‘a’ level sperm, ‘a+b’ level sperm and live sperm of the exposure group were higher than control group (P < 0.05). TUNEL assay revealed that the apoptotic rate of sperms in the exposure group was higher too (P < 0.05). Further, the sperm comet length, tail length, tail DNA %, Olive tail moment were significantly different between the two groups (P < 0.05). In general, we concluded that occupational exposure to e-waste led to asthenospermia and increased male infertility. Occupational exposure to e-waste increased the sperm apoptosis rate and sperm DNA damage.
Electronic Waste, Male Reproductive Health, Semen, TUNEL, Sperm Comet Assay
To cite this article
Zhihai Deng, Yude Hong, Baiwei Tang, Weibo Liang, The Impact of E-waste Occupational Exposure on Male Reproductive Health, American Journal of Health Research. Vol. 4, No. 3, 2016, pp. 70-74. doi: 10.11648/j.ajhr.20160403.16
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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