Advertisement

Environmental risk factors and male fertility and reproduction☆

      Abstract

      Several environmental substances and pesticides exert a direct, cytotoxic effect on male germ cells. However, an increasing concern has been raised by compounds that may act through more subtle mechanisms, for example, specific pesticides that are potentially capable of modulating or disrupting the endocrine system. Overall, exposure to pesticides with endocrine-disrupting potential raise a particular concern for male fertility because of the possible occurrence of both effects at low concentrations and additive interactions with other environmental risk factors. Delayed reproductive problems deserve special attention, since experimental data consistently indicate a high vulnerability in the developing male reproductive system. Epidemiologic studies have confirmed an increased risk of conception delay associated with occupational exposure to pesticides. Moreover, an increased risk of spontaneous abortion has been noted among wives of exposed workers.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Contraception
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Traina M.E.
        • Urbani E.
        • Ade P.
        • Siepi G.
        • Petrelli G.
        A review of the effect of pesticide formulations on male fertility.
        Int J Environ Health Res. 1994; 4: 38-47
        • Petrelli G.
        • Traina M.E.
        Glycol ethers in pesticide products.
        Reprod Toxicol. 1995; 9: 401
        • Traina M.E.
        • Urbani E.
        • Mantovani A.
        • Fazzi P.
        Testicular creatine and urinary creatine-creatinine profiles in mice after the administration of the reproductive toxicant methoxyacetic acid.
        Biomarkers. 1997; 2: 103-110
        • Hess R.A.
        • Nakai M.
        Histophatology of the male reproductive system induced by the fungicide benomyl.
        Histol Histopathol. 2000; 15: 207-224
        • Neubert D.
        Vulnerability of the endocrine system to xenobiotic influence.
        Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 1997; 26: 9-29
        • Petrelli G.
        • Taggi F.
        • Tropeano R.
        • Fondi G.
        • Meli P.
        • Figà-Talamanca I.
        The use of time to pregnancy in male infertility studies. A method to evaluate couple concordance of reproductive data. Eleventh Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), Ninth conference of the International Society of Exposure Analysis (ISEA).
        Epidemiology. 1999; 10: 124
        • Chia S.E.
        • Ong C.N.
        • Tsakok M.F.H.
        • et al.
        Semen parameters in worker exposed to trichloroethylene.
        Rep Toxicol. 1996; 10: 259-290
        • Alexander B.H.
        • Checkoway H.
        • Van Netten C.
        • et al.
        Semen quality of men employed at a lead smelter.
        Occup Environ Med. 1996;
        • Bonde J.P.
        • Ernst E.
        Sex hormones and semen quality in welders exposed to hexavalent chromium.
        Hum Experim Toxicol. 1992; 11: 259-263
        • Baird D.D.
        • Wilcox A.J.
        • Weinberg C.R.
        Use of time to pregnancy to study environmental exposure.
        Am J Epidemiol. 1986; 124: 470-480
        • De Cock J.
        • Westveer K.
        • Heederik D.
        • Velde E.
        • van Kooij R.
        Time to pregnancy and occupational exposure to pesticides in fruit growers in The Netherlands.
        Occup Environ Med. 1994; 51: 693-699
        • Curtis K.M.
        • Savitz D.A.
        • Weinberg C.R.
        • Arbuckle T.E.
        The effects of pesticide exposure on time to pregnancy.
        Epidemiology. 1999; 10: 112-117
        • Illing H.P.A.
        Developmental effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in wildlife and humans.
        Environ Health Perspect. 1993; 101: 378-383
        • Petrelli G.
        • Figà-Talamanca I.
        • Tropeano R.
        • et al.
        Reproductive male-mediated risk.
        Europ J Epidemiol. 2000; 16: 301-393
        • Kharrazi M.
        • Potashnik G.
        • Goldsmith J.R.
        Reproductive effects of dibromochloropropane.
        Israel J Med Sci. 1980; 16: 403-406
        • Center for Disease Control Vietnam Experience Study C
        Health status of Vietnam veterans, III. Reproductive outcomes and child health.
        JAMA. 1988; 259: 2715-2719
        • Stellman S.D.
        • Stellman J.M.
        • Sommer J.F.
        Health and reproductive outcomes among American Legionnaires in relation to combat and herbicide exposure in Vietnam.
        Environ Res. 1988; 47: 150-174
        • Restrepo M.
        • Munoz N.
        • Day N.E.
        • Parra J.E.
        • de Romero L.
        • Nguyen-Dinh X.
        Prevalence of adverse reproductive outcomes in a population occupationally exposed to pesticides in Colombia.
        Scand J Environ Health. 1990; 16: 232-238
        • Rupa D.S.
        • Reddy P.P.
        • Reddy O.S.
        Reproductive performance in population exposed to pesticides in cotton fields in India.
        Environ Res. 1991; 55: 123-128
        • Kaneto M.
        • Kanamori S.
        • Hishikawa A.
        • Kishi K.
        Epididymal sperm motion as a parameter of male reproductive toxicity.
        Reprod Toxicol. 1999; 13: 279-289
        • Plassmann S.
        • Urwyler H.
        Improved risk assessment by screening sperm parameters.
        Toxicol Lett. 2001; 119: 157-171
        • Kubota H.
        • Wang R.
        • Saegusa J.
        • et al.
        Involvement of Bcl-2 family genes and Fas signaling system in primary and secondary male germ cell apoptosis induced by 2-bromopropane in rat.
        Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2001; 174: 35-48
        • Giwercman A.
        • Carlsen E.
        • Keiding N.
        • Skakkebaek N.E.
        Evidence for increasing incidence of abnormalities of the human testis.
        Environ Health Perspec. 1993; 101: 65-71
        • Colborn T.
        • Vom Saal F.S.
        • Soto A.M.
        Developmental effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in wildlife and humans.
        Environ Health Perspect. 1993; 101: 378-384
        • Trentacoste S.V.
        • Friedmann A.S.
        • Youker R.T.
        • Breckenridge C.B.
        • Zirkin B.R.
        Atrazine effects on testosterone levels and androgen-dependent reproductive organs in peripubertal male rats.
        J Androl. 2001; 22: 142-148
        • Gray L.E.
        • Wold C.
        • Lambright C.
        • et al.
        Administration of potentially antiandrogenic pesticides (procymidone, linuron, iprodione, chlozolinate, p,p′-DDE, and ketoconazole) and toxic substances (dibutyl- and diethylhexyl phthalate, PCB 169, and ethane dimethane sulphonate) during sexual differentiation produces diverse profile of reproductive malformations in the male rat.
        Toxicol Ind Health. 1999; 15: 94-118
        • Gray L.E.
        • Ostby J.
        • Cooper R.L.
        • Kelce W.R.
        The estrogenic and antiandrogenic pesticide methoxychlor alters the reproductive tract and behaviour without affecting pituitary size or LH and prolactin secretion in male rats.
        Toxicol Ind Health. 1999; 15: 37-47
        • Dalsenter P.R.
        • Fagi A.S.
        • Webb J.
        • Merker H.J.
        • Chahoud I.
        Reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics of lindane in the male offspring of rats exposed during lactation.
        Hum Exp Toxicol. 1997; 16: 146-153
        • Pylkkanen L.
        • Jahnukainen K.
        • Parvinen M.
        • Santti R.
        Testicular toxicity and mutagenicity of steroidal and non-steroidal estrogens in the male mouse.
        Mutat Res. 1991; 261: 181-191
        • Silvestroni L.
        • Palleschi S.
        Effects of organochlorine xenobiotics on human spermatozoa.
        Chemosphere. 1999; 39: 1249-1252
        • Spanò M.
        • Cordelli E.
        • Eleuteri P.
        • et al.
        Lindane might act as xenoestrogen upon prenatal exposure in CD-1 mice.
        Toxicology. 2001; 164: 125
        • Gopalkrishnan K.
        • Padwall V.
        • Meherji P.K.
        • Gokrl J.S.
        • Shah R.
        • Juneja H.S.
        Poor quality of sperm as it affects repeated early pregnancy loss.
        Arch Androl. 2000; 45: 111-117
        • Shetty G.
        • Krishnamurthy H.
        • Krishnamurthy H.N.
        • Bhatnagar A.S.
        • Moudgal N.R.
        Effect of long-term treatment with aromatase inhibitor on testicular function of adult male bonnet monkeys (M. radiata).
        Steroids. 1998; 63: 414-420
        • Krishnamurthy H.
        • Danilovich N.
        • Morales C.R.
        • Sairam M.R.
        Qualitative and quantitative decline in spermatogenesis of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor knockout (FORKO) mouse.
        Biol Reprod. 2000; 62: 1146-1159
        • Danish Environmental Protection Agency
        Male reproductive health and environmental chemical with estrogenic effects. Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Copenhagen1995
        • Larsen S.B.
        • Spano M.
        • Giwercman A.
        • Bonde J.P.
        Semen quality and sex hormones among organic and traditional Danish farmers.
        Occup Environ Med. 1999; 56: 139-144
        • Tas S.
        • Luwerys R.
        • Lison D.
        Occupational hazards for male reproductive system.
        Crit Rev Toxicol. 1996; 26: 261-307
        • Wilcox A.J.
        • Horney L.F.
        Accuracy of spontaneous abortion recall.
        Am J Epidemiol. 1984; 120: 727-733
        • Savitz D.A.
        • Sonnenfeld N.L.
        • Oshlan A.F.
        Review of epidemiologic studies of paternal occupational exposure and spontaneous abortion.
        Am J Ind Med. 1994; 25: 361-383