keywords: Exposure, male, occupational, sexual function, testosterone, vat dye
Some chemicals and occupational exposures have been implicated in reproductive dysfunctions. Furthermore, certain textile dyes have been associated with testicular toxicity and infertility. It is not known if such exists, among vat dye workers in Abeokuta, Southwest, Nigeria. To determine the effects of exposure to vat dye on sexual functions and levels of sex hormones among the male, thirteen dye workers, age ranging from 19 to 53 with minimum of two years’ duration of exposure were aged matched with nine unexposed male participants. Socio-demographic, occupational, sexual function and lifestyle characteristics were obtained from interviewer-administered semi structured questionnaires. LH, FSH, Prolactin and Testosterone were determined by enzyme immunoassay, using kits purchased from Immunometrics, United Kingdom. Results were expressed as mean (SD) for unskewed and mean rank for skewed data. P values ≤ 0.05 were considered significant. The mean rank of the levels of Testosterone in the exposed (12.58) was significantly higher than that in the unexposed (5.57) (P<0.001). Serum levels of LH, FSH and Prolactin were similar in the two groups (P>0.05). Erectile dysfunction was observed in 8.3%, ejaculation problem in 72.7% and lack of sexual interest in 30.8% of the exposed population, similar to that of the control subjects. Male Participants occupationally exposed to vat dye experience raised level of serum Testosterone which increases with increased duration of exposure. An imbalance in hormone level(s) can result in adverse reproductive outcome. Erectile dysfunction, ejaculation problem and lack of sexual interest among dye workers cannot be related to exposure to vat dye.