of Environmental Pollution on
General Female and Reproductive Health in Developing Countries and Egypt
The past two decades have seen heightened concerns about the potential threat that environment al and occupational chemicals pose for male and female reproductive function and foetal outcome. This concern has been sparked by the sharp increase in the number of women joining the work force.
In 1970, 40.8 percent of married women were employed. This figure increased progressively and reached 56.8 percent in 1988 (Pride report, 1994) . For women in their prime reproductive years, the rates are even higher..
Human reproduction is a complex process, and can be disturbed in many phases by host as well as environmental factors. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish the occupational causes of spontaneous abortions and congenital malformations from other factors related to the parents' properties and the living environment. The relation between exposure and reproductive dysfunction is interlacing.
Exposure of the mother, the father or both may influence reproductive outcome. In addition, exposure may have occurred at some time in the past, immediately prior to conception, or during gestation. For some specific dysfunction, the relevant period of exposure can be identified, and for others this may not be feasible.
We are now well aware that a couple's reproductive success depends on a delicate physiochemical balance within and between the paternal, maternal, and foetal systems. Disruption of this balance can result in a broad range of effects, including infertility, adverse pregnancy outcome, congenital malformation or developmental anomalies later leading to childhood cancer.
The extrapolation of results of animal studies on humans is often complicated because of the structural and functional differences between the species, and because of the structural and functional differences between the species. This in addition to the lack of epidemiological studies. At the present time, the knowledge on the potential reproductive health of environment al pollutants and occupational exposures is limited and in many instances speculative.
Speculation or even the early studies in this respect is not only important but also may be vital to many people living in certain areas of the world, especially poor and underdeveloped countries like our own. Health problems and illiteracy add to the crisis of environmental pollution and its adverse health hazards in these areas.
As a vivid example of the importance of these studies, the studies related to reproductive health. Studies of the reproductive effects of toxicant exposure on female worker populations are unique because two persons may be at risk - the woman herself and, if she is pregnant, her developing offspring. Exposure in this effect may cause a spectrum starting from infertility, menstrual disorders, illness during pregnancy, chromosome aberrations, breast milk alteration, ovarian failure, early onset of menopause and suppressed libido.
In Egypt, although there are no accurate figures about "women at work in different Egyptian economic activities", it is estimated that Egyptian women participate in about 30 percent of the elicited economic activities. This sums up to about 5 million females in the present manufacturing activities. Categorising this in specific sectors, it was found that the figures were as follows:
18% ….. in services
9% ..… in trade
73% ….. in all other activities (CAPMAS, 1993)
Copyrights Dr. Abel Maguid Ramzy 2000 All Rights Reserved
2000 جميع حقوق الطبع والنشر محفوظة للدكتور عبد المجيد رمزي لعام