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Reprod Toxicol. 2010 Apr;29(2):184-90. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2009.11.003. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

Chronic boron exposure and human semen parameters.

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Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6919, USA.


Boron found as borates in soil, food, and water has important industrial and medical applications. A panel reviewing NTP reproductive toxicants identified boric acid as high priority for occupational studies to determine safe versus adverse reproductive effects. To address this, we collected boron exposure/dose measures in workplace inhalable dust, dietary food/fluids, blood, semen, and urine from boron workers and two comparison worker groups (n=192) over three months and determined correlations between boron and semen parameters (total sperm count, sperm concentration, motility, morphology, DNA breakage, apoptosis and aneuploidy). Blood boron averaged 499.2 ppb for boron workers, 96.1 and 47.9 ppb for workers from high and low environmental boron areas (p<0.0001). Boron concentrated in seminal fluid. No significant correlations were found between blood or urine boron and adverse semen parameters. Exposures did not reach those causing adverse effects published in animal toxicology work but exceeded those previously published for boron occupational groups.

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