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Chemosphere. 2012 Feb;86(5):454-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.09.043. Epub 2011 Oct 22.

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and mono(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in media for in vitro fertilization.

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Department of Food, Drugs and Environment, Osaka Prefectural Institute of Public Health, 1-3-69 Nakamichi, Higashinari-ku, Osaka 537-0025, Japan.


In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most important treatments of infertility to provide a chance of conceiving. In IVF treatment, sperm are washed and motile sperm are isolated with sperm washing media (SWM) for the purpose of fertilization; fertilized ova are then incubated for a maximum of 5 or 6d in media for IVF (IVFM). The exposure of fertilized ova to chemicals via such media has not been studied. We determined the concentrations of two contaminants; di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) and its hydrolyzed product mono(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (MEHP) in IVFM, SWM, and protein sources (PS: human serum albumin or serum substitute) for IVFM and SWM. The DEHP and MEHP in these media were extracted by a liquid-liquid extraction method and their concentrations determined by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Fifteen IVFM, nine SWM, and six PS obtained in Japan were examined. The concentrations of DEHP and MEHP in IVFM and SWM were <10-114 and <2.0-263 ng mL(-1), respectively. The concentrations of both DEHP and MEHP were higher in the media containing PS than in those without PS. Either MEHP alone or both DEHP and MEHP were detected in PS. The concentrations of DEHP and MEHP in PS were <10-982 and 47.0-1840 ng mL(-1), respectively. The DEHP and MEHP detected in these media were derived from PS. This is the first study on the chemical contamination of IVFM, SWM, and PS.

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