Sex Hormones Levels in Male Welders in Nnewi, South-Eastern Nigeria

Main Article Content

C. H. Udeogu
I. S. I. Ogbu
A. N. Mbachu
M. C. Ugwu
O. F. Odo
O. Ugwu


Welding processes produce toxic fumes consisting of gaseous and aerosol by-products which pose a risk to the male reproductive systems. The rate of infertility has increased globally. This study therefore sought to assess the effects of welding fume inhalation on the sex hormones of welders in Nnewi. A site-by-site cross-sectional study of 45 welders (aged between 18 and 50 years) who were exposed to welding fumes (Test group) and 45 age-matched non-welders (Control group) was carried out. The ages of the Test and Control subjects, as well as the years of exposure of the Test subjects were obtained via questionnaire. A single non-fasting venous blood (about 5 mls) was collected from the ante-cubital space from the subjects via venipuncture between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Serum was separated following clotting, and used for the investigation of the levels of male sex hormones: Testosterone (T), Progesterone (P), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) among welders. Sex hormones were assayed by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. The results showed that Testosterone (2.45±0.34 ng/ml) was significantly lower (p<0.05) in welders when compared to controls (4.94±0.81 ng/ml) and significantly increased (p<0.05) levels of Progesterone (0.54±0.09 ng/ml) and LH (7.47±1.56 mIU/L) were found in welders compared with controls Progesterone (0.45±0.08 ng/ml) and LH (5.53±1.05 mIU/L). There was no significant difference in the levels of FSH of the test when compared with the controls. This finding of altered hormone levels indicates a likelihood of reduced reproductive outcome. Exposure to welding fume may therefore interfere with testicular functions leading to disordered reproductive performance, delayed conception, and reduced fertility.

Sex hormones, manual electric arc welding, testosterone, progesterone.

Article Details

How to Cite
Udeogu, C. H., Ogbu, I. S. I., Mbachu, A. N., Ugwu, M. C., Odo, O. F., & Ugwu, O. (2020). Sex Hormones Levels in Male Welders in Nnewi, South-Eastern Nigeria. Asian Journal of Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, 3(3), 22-32.
Original Research Article


Zimmer AT, Biswas P. Characterization of the aerosols resulting from arc welding processes. Journal of Aerosol Science. 2001;32(8):993–1008.

Merja J, Paula K, Timo T, Ritva L, Harri L, Riina N, Eeva M, Timo H. Inflammatory response to acute exposure to welding fumes during the working day. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health. 2013;26(2):220–229.

Haneke E. Findings in the ejaculate of electro welders. Dermatologische monatsschrift. 1973;159(11):1036-1040.

Ernst E, Bonde JP. Sex hormones and epidymal sperm parameters in rats following subchronic treatment with hexavalent chromium. Human and Experimental Toxicology. 1992;11(4):255-258.

Tas S, Lauwerys R, Lison D. Occupational hazards for the male reproductive system. Critical Review in Toxicology. 1996; 26(23):261-307.

Wu W, Zhang Y, Zhang F. Studies on semen quality in workers exposed to manganese and electric welding. Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine. 1996; 30(5):266-268.

Figa-Talamanca I, Traina ME, Urbani E. Occupational exposures to metals, solvents and pesticides: Recent evidence on male reproductive effects and biological markers. Occupational Medicne (London). 2001 ;51(3):174–188.

Teitz Teitz Fundamentals of clinical chemistry (6th edition). Elsevier Inc. 2008; 780–786. ISBN: 978-81-312-1374-2

Tim N, Mette R, Berit L, Hanne T. Gold standard program for heavy smokers in a real-life setting. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013;10(9):4186-4199.

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA council approves definition of binge drinking. NIAAA Newsletter. 2004;3:3.

Feldman Henry A, Christopher L, Carol AD, Catherine BJ, Andre BA, Andrea DC, William JB, John BM. Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men: Longitudinal results from the massachusetts male aging study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2002;87(2):589-598.

Goh VH, Tong TYY. Sleep, sex steroid hormones, sexual activities and aging in Asian men. Journal of Andrology. 2010; 31(2):131-137.

Bonde JP. Semen quality in welders exposed to radiant heat. British Journal of Industrial Medicine. 1992;49(1):5-10.

Kumar S, Zaidi S, Gautam A, Dave L, Saiyed H. Semen quality and reproductive hormones among welders- A preliminary study. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. 2003; 8(2):64–67.

Well D, Yang H, Houseni M, Iruvari S, Alzeair S, Sansovini M, Wintering N, Alavi A, Torigian DA. Age-related structural and metabolic changes in the pelvic reproductive end organs. Seminars in Nuclear Medicine. 2007;37(3):173-184.