Regular exposure to paint chemicals called glycol solvents may harm male fertility, suggests a British study that looked at more than 2,000 men attending 14 fertility clinics.
The researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield found that painters, decorators and other men who work with glycol solvents -- used in water-based paints -- were 250 percent more likely to have sperm motility problems than other men, BBC News reported.
Sperm motility, which refers to the amount of movement of individual sperm, plays an important role in overall fertility.
"We know that certain glycol ethers can affect male fertility and the use of these has reduced over the past two decades. However, our work suggests they are still a workplace hazard and further work is needed to reduce such exposure," said Dr. Andy Povey of the University of Manchester, BBC News reported.
Povey and his colleagues looked at a wide range of workplace chemicals and concluded that glycol solvents were the only ones that had an impact on male fertility. The study was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.