Impact of perfluorochemicals on human health and reproduction: a male’s perspective
- 347 Downloads
Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) are a class of organic molecules used in industry and consumer products. PFCs are non-biodegradable and bioaccumulate in the environment and for these reasons they have been a major subject of research regarding their toxicity, environmental fate, and sources of human exposure, since they have been shown to induce severe health consequences, such as neonatal mortality, neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity. The aim of this review is to explore the existing knowledge of the interplay between PFCs exposure and human health, with a focus on male reproductive health, given the emerging gender differences in PFCs clearance and their interaction with sex hormones receptors. A comprehensive PUBMED search was performed using relevant key terms for PFCs and male fertility. Different degrees of evidence suggest an impairment of semen parameters and sex hormones in relation to PFCs exposure. These preliminary results point towards a sex-dependent pharmacodynamics and clearance, with males having a much higher tendency to accumulation. Moreover, because of the widespread environmental occurrence of these chemicals, along with their ability to cross the placental barrier, exposure of the foetus to these compounds is inevitable. This is of concern because foetal development of the male reproductive organs may be disturbed by exposure to exogenous factors. These findings clearly suggest an antiandrogenic potential of PFCs and a link between endocrine disruptors and disorders of male health.
KeywordsEndocrine disruptors Infertility Androgen receptor Sexual development Male health
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
This article does not contain studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
No informed consent.
- 15.Lau C (2012) Perfluorinated compounds. In: EXS. pp 47–86Google Scholar
- 23.Specht IO, Hougaard KS, Spanò M et al (2012) Sperm DNA integrity in relation to exposure to environmental perfluoroalkyl substances—a study of spouses of pregnant women in three geographical regions. Reprod Toxicol 33:577–583. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2012.02.008 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 35.La Rocca C, Alessi E, Bergamasco B et al (2012) Exposure and effective dose biomarkers for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in infertile subjects: preliminary results of the PREVIENI project. Int J Hyg Environ Health 215:206–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2011.10.016 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 36.La Rocca C, Tait S, Guerranti C et al (2015) Exposure to endocrine disruptors and nuclear receptors gene expression in infertile and fertile men from Italian areas with different environmental features. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:12426–12445. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121012426 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 47.Hanhijärvi H, Ylinen M, Haaranen T, Nevalainen T (1988) A proposed species difference in the renal excretion of perfluoro octanoic acid in the Beagle dog and rat. In: New developments in biosciences: their implications for laboratory animal science. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 409–412Google Scholar
- 54.Olsen GW, Burris JM, Ehresman DJ et al (2007) Half-life of serum elimination of perfluorooctanesulfonate, perfluorohexanesulfonate, and perfluorooctanoate in retired fluorochemical production workers. Environ Health Perspect 115:1298–1305. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.10009 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 55.Brede E, Wilhelm M, Göen T et al (2010) Two-year follow-up biomonitoring pilot study of residents’ and controls’ PFC plasma levels after PFOA reduction in public water system in Arnsberg, Germany. Int J Hyg Environ Health 213:217–223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2010.03.007 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 65.Inoue K, Okada F, Ito R et al (2004) Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and related perfluorinated compounds in human maternal and cord blood samples: assessment of PFOS exposure in a susceptible population during pregnancy. Environ Health Perspect 112:1204–1207CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar