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December 21, 1984

Male Fertility in Hot Environment

Author Affiliations

Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology Research Triangle Park, NC

JAMA. 1984;252(23):3250-3251. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350230012009

To the Editor.—  The American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs has recently noted that adequate studies of adverse effects on male reproductive function from working in hot environments do not exist.1 Unfortunately, the Council has also made the premature judgment that such effects are not to be expected under normal working conditions. It cites a study of workers in sugar refineries and railroads by Fonio et al,2 which is poorly documented and lacks a control group. Although Fonio et al state that heat had no negative influence on fertility since 94% of surveyed persons were reported to have had children during exposure, no attempt was made to determine if the number of children conceived might have been fewer than usual. While temporary hot exposures should, as the Council has concluded, cause no permanent effects and no substantial decrease in fertility, exposures of up to several hours experienced