contaminants from several different chemical

Examples of common contaminants from several different chemical classes that have been linked with adverse reproductive health effects in humans. Modified from:  Human Reproduction Update 2005 11(1):43-57;  Environmental and occupational factors affecting fertility and IVF success. Edward V. Younglai, Alison C. Holloway and Warren G. Foster 







PAH in tobacco smoke and diesel exhaust

Meiotic maturation of oocytes and DNA adducts in sperm, oocytes and embryos of IVF patients

Zenzes et al., 1995a


Oils, electric coolant

Impaired response to ovulation induction, reduced parity, impaired lactation, and potential reduced fecundability

Gerhard and Runnebaum, 1992; Kostyniak et al., 1999; Buck et al., 2000

Dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF)

Incineration of plastics, automobile exhaust, and pesticide manufacturing

Potential for change in sex ratio and increased risk of endometriosis

Mocarelli et al., 1996, Mocarelli et al.., 2000; Mayani et al., 1997


Pesticides, fungicide

Developmental abnormalities of the male reproductive tract; increased risk of spontaneous abortion

Jarrell et al., 1998; Hosie et al., 2000

Pesticides in general

Herbicide used in combination

No apparent effects alone but decreased semen quality and fecundity, spontaneous abortion, pre-term birth, and small for gestational age in mixtures

Gerhard and Runnebaum, 1992; De Cock et al., 1994; Curtis et al., 1997, 1999; Savitz et al., 1997; Arbuckle et al., 1999, Arbuckle et al.., 2001; Abell et al., 2000



Reduced parity, impaired lactation, decreased semen quality, impaired fertility, and small-for-gestational-age babies

Kostyniak et al., 1999; Longnecker et al., 2001;Younglai et al., 2002



Decreased sperm counts & infertility

Whorton et al., 1979; Potashnik and Porath, 1995; Slutsky et al., 1999



Decreased semen quality, increased time to pregnancy, and spontaneous abortion

Cullen et al., 1984; Assennato et al., 1987; Alexander et al., 1996; El-Zohairy et al., 1996; Lin et al., 1998; Sallmen et al., 2000; Telisman et al., 2000; De Rosa et al., 2003; Tang and Zhu, 2003


PAH = polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons; PCB = polychlorinated biphenyls; DDT/DDE = dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane/dichlorobischlorophenylethylene.

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