DNA fragmentation of sperm in automobile painters

Dicky Faizal Irnandi, Aucky Hinting, Rina Yudiwati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Reproductive health is a major concern for workers constantly exposed to chemicals at work, especially in developing countries. The problems mainly stemmed from chronic exposure to the chemicals contained in paint thinner, which is mainly toluene, used during automobile painting. Unfortunately, in Indonesia, there is no study on the reproductive health of male workers in automobile workshops, especially in relation to spermatogenesis. This study aimed to explore the possibility of reproductive problems, namely spermatozoa DNA fragmentation, among male workers in an automobile workshop in Malang. We recruited workers who have worked as automobile painters for years at an automobile workshop in Malang and have been chronically exposed to thinner. Semen samples were collected from 15 automobile workshop workers who were married and had children. Twelve office workers were used as the control group. The two groups of semen samples were tested with the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay combined with propidium iodide and analyzed by flow cytometry. The results showed a significant difference between DNA fragmentation of the control group and workshop workers at 14.9% and 47.66%, respectively. Risk factor analysis showed a significant increase in risk factors (p = 0.001). Taken together, chronic exposure to paint thinner in those engaged in painting at the automobile workshop increased the risk of DNA fragmentation in spermatozoa. Our study highlighted the importance of health education for the risked workers on minimization of exposure, which could be recommended to the health policy makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology and Industrial Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Automobile workshop workers
  • DNA fragmentation
  • TUNEL assay
  • flow cytometry
  • paint thinner exposure
  • spermatozoa


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