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Ann Hum Biol. 2016;43(1):50-6. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2015.1013986. Epub 2015 Jul 27.

Exposure to ambient air pollution--does it affect semen quality and the level of reproductive hormones?

Author information

1
a Department of Gynecology and Reproduction , 'Gameta' Hospital , Rzgów , Poland .
2
b Department of Environmental Epidemiology , Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine , Łodź , Poland , and.
3
c Department of Biotechnology of Animal Reproduction , National Research Institute of Animal Production , Kraków Balice , Poland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ambient air pollution has been associated with a variety of reproductive disorders. However, a limited amount of research has been conducted to examine the association between air pollution and male reproductive outcomes, specifically semen quality.

AIM:

The present study was designed to address the hypothesis that exposure to fluctuating levels of specific air pollutants adversely affects sperm parameters and the level of reproductive hormones.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

The study population consisted of 327 men who were attending an infertility clinic in Łodź, Poland for diagnostic purposes and who had normal semen concentration of 15-300 mln/ml. All participants were interviewed and provided a semen sample. Air quality data were obtained from AirBase database.

RESULTS:

The statistically significant association was observed between abnormalities in sperm morphology and exposure to all examined air pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NOX, CO). Exposure to air pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, CO, NOx) was also negatively associated with the level of testosterone. Additional exposure to PM2.5, PM10 increase the percentage of cells with immature chromatin (HDS).

CONCLUSIONS:

The present study provides suggestive evidence of an association between ambient air pollution and sperm quality. Further research is needed to explore this association in more detail. Individual precise exposure assessment would be needed for more detailed risk characterization.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; level of reproductive hormones; semen quality; sperm DNA damage

PMID:
26211899
DOI:
10.3109/03014460.2015.1013986
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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