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Objective: Drinking water contaminated with toxic metals can be a leading cause of infertility in males. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of some toxic metals and trace elements in drinking water and reproductive hormone levels in males who drink water from these sources in Sabongida-Ora , Edo State, Nigeria.
Material and Methods: A total of 90 subjects consisting of 30 subjects who drink borehole water, 30 subjects who drink water from hand-dug well, and 30 subjects who drink table water, aged between 18 and 45 years, were recruited for this study. Serum reproductive hormones were analyzed using ELISA method. Blood lead, cadmium, serum zinc, and copper were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The data obtained were analyzed using SPSS version 23.0.
Results: Blood Cd and Pb levels were significantly higher (P<0.05) in hand-dug, borehole and treated water consumers while serum Zn level was significantly lower P<0.05) in hand-dug well and borehole water consumers than treated table water consumers. The serum Cu level was not significantly different between the groups. The reproductive hormones were significantly lower among hand-dug well and borehole water consumers than treated table water consumers (p<0.05), while PROL(P<0.05) was significantly higher among hand-dug well, borehole water consumers than treated water consumers. Serum PROL correlated positively with Pb (r=0.443; P<0.05) and negatively with serum Zn (r=-0.404; P<0.05) while T correlated positively (r=0.542; P<0.005) with Zn. Similarly, FSH correlated negatively with Pb (r=-0.398; P<0.05) and positively with Zn (r=0.422;P<0.05), while LH correlated inversely with Cd (r=-0.622;P<0.05) and positively with Zn (r=0.745; P<0.05). Expectedly, Cd and Pb were higher while Cu and Zn were lower in hand-dug well water consumers than borehole water consumers.
Conclusion: Water consumption from hand-dug wells may have adverse reproductive sequelae among consumers.
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