Substantiating methodical approaches to quantifying reproductive health risks caused by harmful occupational and work-related factors

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P.Z. Shur1, N.V. Zaitseva1, D.N. Lir1,2


1Federal Scientific Center for Medical and Preventive Health Risk Management Technologies, 82 Monastyrskaya Str., Perm, 6140045, Russian Federation
2Perm State Medical University named after Academician E.A. Wagner, 26 Petropavlovskaya Str., Perm, 614990, Russian Federation


The article dwells on methodical approaches to quantifying occupational risk (OR) which give an opportunity to spot out priority trends in prevention of reproductive losses caused both by occupational diseases (ODs) and work-related diseases (WRDs).

OR quantitative assessment takes into account an additional probability of developing disorders and their severity. When assessing OR for reproductive health, it is advisable to take into account sex-related peculiarities, sensitive periods in the reproductive cycle, variable physiological states, as well as health disorders in offspring caused by parental occupational exposures. The assessment is based on epidemiological research. The algorithm also involves determining OR of reproductive disorders; determining an integral OR of reproductive disorders (as a combined account of both ODs and WRDs caused by exposure to different factors); determining OR categories and assessing their acceptability regarding reproductive health. It is suggested to determine severity of reproductive health outcomes (health effects) using conventional coefficients recommended by the WHO and “loss of fertility” level which is significant in assessing consequences for offspring. In case a risk is detected, both for exposed workers and their offspring, it is recommended to consider selecting the priority (maximum) risk level to be the ultimate assessment result.

The suggested methodical approaches were tested on a group of women employed at a petrochemical production and exposed to several harmful occupational factors (chemical factor and labor intensity) with working conditions at their workplaces belonging to the hazard category 3.1. The assessment revealed the integral risk for reproductive health to be equal to 1.6∙10-2 thus indicating that the risk was unacceptable. Besides, occupational factors influencing a mother create an unacceptable risk for development of healthy offspring (the detected risk is 3∙10-3). Such a reproductive disorder as infertility causes “insignificant” risks for women whereas they grow up to being “high” for their potential offspring. The ultimate assessment result is selecting the maximum risk levels, that is, the “high” risk for offspring’s health.

methodical approaches, quantitative assessment, risk assessment, reproductive health, occupational factors, work-related factors, petrochemical production
Shur P.Z., Zaitseva N.V., Lir D.N. Substantiating methodical approaches to quantifying reproductive health risks caused by harmful occupational and work-related factors. Health Risk Analysis, 2022, no. 1, pp. 48–57. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2022.1.05.eng
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