Exposure to heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) and its effect on the outcome of in-vitro fertilization treatment.

Biological and Medical Research Department, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, P.O. Box 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia.
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health (Impact Factor: 3.05). 01/2008; 211(5-6):560-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2007.09.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated the effect of lead, cadmium and mercury exposure on pregnancy and fertilization rate outcome among 619 Saudi women (age 19-50 years) who sought in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment between 2002 and 2003. The concentrations of lead, cadmium and mercury were measured in both blood and follicular fluids. At levels well below the current US occupational exposure limit guidelines (40microg/dL) and even less than the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention level of concern for preventing lead poisoning in children (10microg/dL), blood lead level was negatively associated with fertilization outcome in both adjusted and unadjusted logistic regression models. We found that among various demographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors, fish consumption was positively associated with blood lead levels. These results support the hypothesis that a raised blood lead level affects infertility and intervention to reduce the lead exposure might be needed for women of reproductive age. The present results also revealed unexpected finding - the positive relationship between follicular cadmium levels and fertilization outcome, which points to the necessity for further investigation. Though adverse effect of mercury on pregnancy outcome or fertilization rate was not evident in this study, mercury5.8microg/L (EPA safety limit) was found in the blood and follicular fluid of 18.7% and 8.3% of the women, respectively. Concerns about its possible adverse effects on the physiology of reproduction or fetal development cannot be ruled out. It should be noted that skin-lightening creams and dental amalgam were important contributors to mercury exposure. Such finding is alarming and priority for further studies are, urgently, needed.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is limited research examining the chemical load of toxic metals in the elderly. The aim of the present study was to determine the body burden of lead, cadmium and mercury in association with age, gender, locality, lifestyle factors and potential health impacts among this population and to compare the values with blood values from the general Czech population aged 18 - 64years.
    Experimental gerontology. 07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine biomarkers of methylmercury (MeHg) intake in women and infants from seafood-consuming populations globally and characterize the comparative risk of fetal developmental neurotoxicity. A search was conducted of the published literature reporting total mercury (Hg) in hair and blood in women and infants. These biomarkers are validated proxy measures of MeHg, a neurotoxin found primarily in seafood. Average and high-end biomarkers were extracted, stratified by seafood consumption context, and pooled by category. Medians for average and high-end pooled distributions were compared with the reference level established by a joint expert committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Selection criteria were met by 164 studies of women and infants from 43 countries. Pooled average biomarkers suggest an intake of MeHg several times over the FAO/WHO reference in fish-consuming riparians living near small-scale gold mining and well over the reference in consumers of marine mammals in Arctic regions. In coastal regions of south-eastern Asia, the western Pacific and the Mediterranean, average biomarkers approach the reference. Although the two former groups have a higher risk of neurotoxicity than the latter, coastal regions are home to the largest number at risk. High-end biomarkers across all categories indicate MeHg intake is in excess of the reference value. There is a need for policies to reduce Hg exposure among women and infants and for surveillance in high-risk populations, the majority of which live in low-and middle-income countries.
    Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 04/2014; 92(4):254-269F. · 5.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lead is reported to be an endocrine disruptor. In the current study, we exposed female Prussian carp to artificial feed, supplemented with five doses of dietary Pb (0, 1 (control), 8, 13, 24, and 49 mg/kg) over either a 24-month period or a 12-month period, followed by further 12 months where the fish were fed the control diet. Periodically, oocyte maturation, gonadosomatic index (GSI), ability to secret luteinizing hormone (LH) as well as gonad Pb concentrations were measured. It was found that the reproductive system of the female Prussian carp is not indifferent to chronic exposure to lead. The negative effect was manifested by a decrease in the GSI after 12 months despite the fact that a higher proportion of oocytes at more advanced maturity stages were concurrently observed. After 12 months of exposure, the effect on LH secretion varied according to the dose. In the group exposed to the lowest dose (8 mg/kg), LH decreased spontaneously, and in the groups exposed to the highest two doses (24 and 48 mg/kg), a significantly higher LHRH-A-stimulated LH secretion was observed. After 24 months of lead exposure, the effects on oocyte maturation and size and on GSI values were not pronounced. Analysis of the effect of lead exposure on LH secretion showed that the relationships were similar to those observed after 12 months but nonsignificant. During chronic a 24-month period exposure to Pb, Prussian carp female appears to acclimate to Pb doses used in the experiment. After 12 months of exposure and 12 months of depuration, the levels of spontaneous and stimulated LH secretion observed in all the groups were similar to the control, which is evidence that depuration eliminates the previously observed effects of exposure to lead. Lead is easily accumulated in the ovary, reaching a fivefold higher level (0.8 mg/kg tissue) compared to the control (0.15 mg/kg tissue), but after discontinuation of exposure, this organ is quickly depurated. The results indicate that environmental Pb can be a potent endocrine disruptor affecting ovarian steroidogenesis, gametogenesis, and ovulation, which may lead to adverse impacts on fish reproduction and population density and that female Prussian carp become resistant to the negative effects of lead with advancing age, and their organs cope by reaching a state of homeostasis.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 09/2013; · 2.76 Impact Factor


Available from