Environmental Toxins and Male Fertility

  • Mahmoud Mima
  • David Greenwald
  • Samuel Ohlander
Andrology and Infertility (L Lipshultz, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Andrology and Infertility


Purpose of Review

Global industrialization has increased population exposure to environmental toxins. A global decline in sperm quality over the last few decades raises questions about the adverse impact of environmental toxins on male reproductive health.

Recent Findings

Multiple animal- and human-based studies on exposure to environmental toxins suggest a negative impact on semen quality, in terms of sperm concentration, motility, and/or morphology. These toxins may exert estrogenic and/or anti-androgenic effects, which in turn alter the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPGA), induce sperm DNA damage, or cause sperm epigenetic changes.


This chapter will discuss the most recent literature about the most common environmental toxins and their impact on spermatogenesis and its consequences on male fertility. Understanding the presence and underlying mechanism of these toxins will help us preserve the integrity of the male reproduction system and formulate better regulations against their indiscriminate use.


Environment Environmental toxins Male infertility Sperm Endocrine disrupting chemicals Thermotoxicity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Mahmoud Mima, David Greenwald, and Samuel Ohlander each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud Mima
    • 1
  • David Greenwald
    • 1
  • Samuel Ohlander
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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