Keywords: CR-39 NTDs, radon concentration, effective dose, male infertility, ventilation rate, Iraqi Kurdistan, low radiation, male sterility, sperm activity
Relationship between radon concentration, ventilation rate and male infertility: a case study in Iraqi Kurdistan
The relationship between annual effective dose, ventilation rate and the rate of male infertility in selected locations in the Iraqi Kurdistan region was studied using the bedrooms of 124 homes of men whose fertilities were determined using a CR-39 nuclear track detector. The results show that there is an exponential relation between annual effective dose and the rate of male infertility, and radon concentrations in most locations which have a high rate of male infertility are increased, especially in those men with a low concentration of sperm (sperm/ml). This may be due to the ventilation rate, the structure of the houses, and variations in geological formation and in grades of uranium at different locations. The average rate of annual effective dose was 3.688 ± 0.828 mSv y-1, 2.903 ± 0.332 mSv y-1 and 2.793 ± 0.428 mSv y-1 for poor, partial and good ventilation rates, respectively. The rate of male infertility was (272.77 ± 140.90) × 10-2%, (144.05 ± 19.65) × 10-2% and (139.11 ± 17.26) × 10-2% for poor, partial and good ventilation rates, respectively. This is a clear indication of the effect of the radon concentration on male sterility, especially on the activity of sperm.