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Biomed Environ Mass Spectrom. 1987 Aug;14(8):473-7.

Phthalate esters and semen quality parameters.


Analysis of reports in the world's literature suggests that average sperm densities for groups of unselected males were relatively constant at about 108 million cells per ml prior to 1950. Subsequent to that time mean sperm densities appear to have declined. Regression analysis indicates the existence of significant negative correlations between mean sperm densities and production of synthetic organic chemicals among other parameters. Phthalate esters are one class of large volume organic chemicals that are known to disturb testicular function in laboratory animals. These compounds are also the most abundant man-made chemicals in the environment. Plots of the concentration of dibutylphthalate in the cellular fraction of ejaculates against either the sperm density or the total number of sperm for the same ejaculates gave two clusters of points. These clusters suggest the existence of two or more populations vis à vis phthalate metabolism; both of which show a negative correlation between phthalate concentration and sperm production.

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