Biomonitoring of blood heavy metals and reproductive hormone level related to low semen quality

Ching Jen Li, Ching Ying Yeh, Ruey Yu Chen, Chii Ruey Tzeng, Bor Cheng Han, Ling Chu Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Reproductive hormones and exposure to environmental metals are correlated with low-quality semen. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of heavy metals and reproductive hormones in the blood in addition to other relevant factors to clarify the relationship between these factors and semen quality. We recruited 154 male participants from a reproductive medical center. All participants were provided with a questionnaire on lifestyle implementation. The levels of metals in the blood were determined using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The levels of hormones in the blood were determined using an automatic gamma counter. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to predict the effects of statistically significant risk factors on semen quality by adjusting for relevant confounders and modifiers. After adjusting for the age, education level, and related factors in the multiple logistic regression analyses, we observed that the increased blood Pb levels were significantly and positively associated with low semen quality. High blood Pb levels (>50. μg/L) had an 11-fold risk of low semen quality. Our results suggest that progressive motility sperm may be a sensitive indicator of the semen quality among all the semen parameters in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - Dec 30 2015


  • Lead (Pb)
  • Low semen quality
  • Reproductive hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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