Exposure to persistent organochlorine pollutants and seminal levels of markers of epididymal and accessory sex gland functions in Swedish men.

Research paper by A A Rignell-Hydbom, L L Rylander, S S Elzanaty, A A Giwercman, C H CH Lindh, L L Hagmar

Indexed on: 02 Apr '05Published on: 02 Apr '05Published in: Human reproduction (Oxford, England)


A major exposure route for persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) in Sweden is through consumption of fatty fish from the Baltic Sea. Endocrine disruptors, such as POPs, may have a negative impact on sperm quality. The present study aimed to investigate whether exposure to 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (p,p'-DDE) affects epididymal and accessory sex gland function.157 fishermen from the coastal stretches of Sweden, aged 27-67 years, provided semen samples which were analyzed for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), neutral alpha-glucosidase (NAG), fructose and zinc levels. Serum levels of CB-153 and p'p-DDE were determined.The median CB-153 serum level was 189 ng/g lipid (range 40-1460) and a median p,p'-DDE serum level 231 ng/g lipid (range 40-2252). There was a significant linear association between CB-153 and total amount of PSA (slope [beta] = -2.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] -4.0, -0.9; P = 0.02). With age, abstinence time and smoking included in the model the association became non-significant (beta = -1.4, 95% CI-3.0, 0.1; P = 0.07). There were no significant associations between CB-153 and zinc, fructose and NAG. As for the exposure variable p,p'-DDE and the outcome variables, no significant associations were found.The study gives only very limited support of an association between CB-153 in serum and total PSA, and a random finding cannot be excluded.