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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and male reproductive health: a systematic review of the epidemiological evidence

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Exposure to environmental pollutants may produce impairment of male reproductive health. The epidemiological literature evaluating potential consequences of human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has grown in recent years with concerns for both pre- and postnatal influences. The aim of this systematic review was to assess available evidence on associations between PFAS exposures in different stages of life and semen quality, reproductive hormones, cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and testicular cancer. A systematic search of literature published prior to March 9th, 2020, was performed in the databases PubMed and Embase®. Predefined criteria for eligibility were applied by two authors screening study records independently. Among the 242 study records retrieved in the literature search, 26 studies were eligible for qualitative assessment. While several investigations suggested weak associations for single compounds and specific outcomes, a lack of consistency across studies limited conclusions of overall evidence. The current gap in knowledge is particularly obvious regarding exposures prior to adulthood, exposure to combinations of both PFAS and other types of environmental chemicals, and outcomes such as cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and testicular cancer. Continued efforts to clarify associations between PFAS exposure and male reproductive health through high-quality epidemiological studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of toxicology and environmental health. Part B, Critical reviews
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)276-291
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • Cryptorchidism/chemically induced, Environmental Exposure/adverse effects, Environmental Pollutants/toxicity, Fluorocarbons/toxicity, Gonadal Steroid Hormones/metabolism, Humans, Hypospadias/chemically induced, Male, Reproductive Health, Semen/drug effects, Testicular Neoplasms/chemically induced

ID: 62370359