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Environ Pollut. 2016 May;212:544-549. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.02.032. Epub 2016 Mar 11.

Joint effects of trihalomethanes and trichloroacetic acid on semen quality: A population-based cross-sectional study in China.

Author information

1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environmental Protection, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubating), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China.
2
College of Public Health, University of South China, Hengyang, Hunan, PR China.
3
Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environmental Protection, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubating), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China.
4
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environmental Protection, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubating), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China. Electronic address: luwq@mails.tjmu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Exposure to trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) has been individually associated with adverse male reproductive effects; however, their joint male reproductive toxicity is largely unknown. This study aimed to explore the joint effects of THMs and trichloroacetic acid (TCAA) on semen quality in a Chinese population. A total of 337 men presenting to the Reproductive Center of Tongjing Hospital, in Wuhan, China to seek semen analysis were included this study. Baseline blood THMs [chloroform (TCM), bromodichloromethane (BDCM), dibromochloromethane (DBCM), and bromoform (TBM)] and urinary TCAA were analyzed and dichotomized at their median levels. The joint effects of THMs and TCAA on below-reference semen quality parameters were evaluated by calculating the relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI). After adjusting for potential confounders, we found a suggestive synergistic effect between Br-THMs (sum of BDCM, DBCM, and TBM) and TCAA for below-reference sperm count (RERI = 2.14, 95% CI: -0.37, 4.91) (P = 0.076); men with high Br-THMs and TCAA levels (above the median) had 3.31 times (95% CI: 1.21, 9.07) elevated risk of having below-reference sperm count than men with low Br-THMs and TCAA levels (below the median). No apparent joint effects were observed between THMs and TCAA for other semen quality parameters. Our results suggest that co-exposure to Br-THMs and TCAA is associated with additive effects on decreased semen quality. However, further studies in a larger sample size and mechanistic studies are needed to confirm the findings.

KEYWORDS:

Disinfection by-products; Semen quality; Synergistic effect; Trichloroacetic acid; Trihalomethanes

PMID:
26975004
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2016.02.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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