Workplace exposures

CDC issues national action plan for infertility

Atlanta – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a publication that focuses on infertility issues, including the role of workplace exposures, in men and women.

NIOSH contributed to the National Public Health Action Plan for the Detection, Prevention and Management of Infertility, addressing the subject of reducing exposures to occupational agents that can harm reproductive health and fertility in both men and women.

Released July 16, the plan focuses on promoting healthy behavior that can help maintain fertility; promoting prevention, early detection and treatment of medical conditions that can threaten fertility; and reducing exposures that can adversely affect fertility.

Partners in addressing fertility issues and increasing opportunities for prevention include federal, state and local agencies; the scientific community; health care professionals; insurance providers; employers; and other organizations.

Although some occupational exposures have been shown to impair fertility (including lead, some pesticides and some solvents), the overall contribution of occupational exposures to infertility is unknown, CDC states. Less than 5 percent of all chemicals used in the United States have been tested to determine if they are toxic to reproductive health.