Manipal: Most people have learnt to live with occupational hazards, taking them in their stride while going about their daily jobs. But now comes a study which suggests that long term exposure to radiation at the workplace may play havoc with the quality of men’s semen, which cannot be taken as lightly.
Conducted by a team of Indian fertility experts from Manipal University, the study found that male health workers handling X-rays or gamma radiation sources on a regular basis for a prolonged period of time produced poor quality sperm cells.
“Though we did not find increased incidence of infertility among these workers, the genetic and epigenetic abnormalities observed in the sperm is of serious concern. If the sperm DNA is not maintained as it should be it could impact the next generation's health," warns Dr. Satish Adiga, professor in clinical embryology who headed the research team.
Pro-Vice Chancellor of Manipal University, Dr H. Vinod Bhat, who is also a professor in preventive medicine and public health, says the study has come out with an important observation, which cannot be ignored. “We need to review our exposure protocols and make sure that the health of the professionals and their children are not compromised,” he stresses.