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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2011 Aug;84(6):609-16. doi: 10.1007/s00420-010-0598-z. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

Exposure to urban stressors and free testosterone plasma values.

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Department of Occuptional Medicine, Universita' di Roma Sapienza, Viale Regina Elena 336, Rome, Italy.



The chemical agents present in the environment, such as traffic pollutants, may affect male fertility. Traffic policemen are daily exposed to traffic pollutants. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether occupational exposure to urban stressors could cause alterations in free testosterone plasma values in male traffic policemen versus administrative staff of Municipal Police of a big Italian city.


Both groups were divided into two subgroups based on age (first group: 30-40 years; second group: 41-50 years) to assess whether age could affect laboratory results of free testosterone plasma levels in traffic policemen versus controls. The characterization of exposure to urban pollutants for traffic policemen was assessed using the concentrations of pollutants monitored in fixed stations. A total of 220 subjects were studied: 110 traffic policemen and 110 controls, after excluding subjects with main confounding factors.


Mean free testosterone values were significantly lower in traffic policemen than in controls (P < 0.001). Such statistical reduction persisted stratifying the mean testosterone values for classes of age (30-40 and 41-50 year) of workers (respectively P < 0.001 and P < 0.001). The distribution into classes of testosterone values in traffic policemen and in controls was significant (P < 0.001), and this result persisted after the stratification for classes of age of workers (30-40 year: P < 0.001) (41-50 year: P < 0.001).


According to data in literature, free testosterone plasma levels could be used as an early biological marker, to be employed in occupational sets, valuable for the group, even before the onset of values out of range and of fertility disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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