Exposure to hazardous substances and male reproductive health: a research framework.
Moline JM; Golden AL; Bar-Chama N; Smith E; Rauch ME; Chapin RE; Perreault SD; Schrader SM; Suk WA; Landrigan PJ
Environ Health Perspect 2000 Sep; 108(9):803-813
The discovery in the mid-1970s that occupational exposures to pesticides could diminish or destroy the fertility of workers sparked concern about the effects of hazardous substances on male reproductive health. More recently, there is evidence that sperm quantity and quality may have declined worldwide, that the incidence of testicular cancer has progressively increased in many countries, and that other disorders of the male reproductive tract such as hypospadias and cryptorchidism may have also increased. There is growing concern that occupational factors and environmental chemical exposures, including in utero and childhood exposures to compounds with estrogenic activity, may be correlated with these observed changes in male reproductive health and fertility. We review the evidence and methodologies that have contributed to our current understanding of environmental effects on male reproductive health and fertility and discuss the methodologic issues which confront investigators in this area. One of the greatest challenges confronting researchers in this area is assessing and comparing results from existing studies. We elaborate recommendations for future research. Researchers in the field of male reproductive health should continue working to prioritize hazardous substances; elucidate the magnitude of male reproductive health effects, particularly in the areas of testicular cancer, hypospadias, and cryptorchidism; develop biomarkers of exposure to reproductive toxins and of reproductive health effects for research and clinical use; foster collaborative interdisciplinary research; and recognize the importance of standardized laboratory methods and sample archiving
Occupational exposure; Pesticides; Workers; Worker health; Occupational health; Reproductive effects; Reproductive system disorders; Demographic characteristics; Sex factors; Fertility; Environmental exposure; Health hazards; Cancer; In utero studies;
Author Keywords: hazardous substances; male reproductive health; research; semen quality
J. Moline, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1057, 1 Gustave Levy Place, New York, NY 10029 USA
Environmental Health Perspectives