Effects of Environmental Exposure to Lead and Cadmium on Male Fertility

Document Type : Original Article


1 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Al-Azhar University (New Damietta).

2 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Al-Azhar University (Cairo).

3 Clinical Pathology Department, Al-Azhar University (New Damietta).

4 Dermatology and Venereology Department, Al-Azhar University (New Damietta).


Chronic exposure to heavy metals represents a medical challenge especially in developing countries. The aim of the present study was to measure the levels of (lead and cadmium) in infertile male and correlate these levels with male fertility. After free informed consent, the present study included 70 infertile couples (without female infertility factor) attending the infertility clinics (Dermatology and Venereology Department; Al-Azhar Faculty of Medicine; New Damietta); who were well-known to be exposed to lead and/or cadmium confirmed by measuring blood lead and cadmium levels, and another 30 healthy fertile males without evidence of environmental exposure were included as controls. All patients underwent history taking, clinical and andrological examination and laboratory investigations (complete blood count, blood glucose level, renal and liver function tests and hormonal profile (serum FSH, LH, estrogen and testosterone) with measurement of lead and cadmium levels using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Finally, a sample of semen was obtained for semen analysis. It was concluded that there was high concentrations of lead and cadmium linked to male infertility as revealed by changes in hormonal profile and seminal parameters.