BACKGROUND: Benzophenone (BP)-type ultraviolet (UV) light filters are chemicals frequently added to personal care products, insect repellents, sunscreens, and beverage and food packaging to diminish the harmful effects of UV sunlight on human skin or foodstuffs. BP-type UV filters have shown negative effects on male reproduction function in in vitro and animal models, but human epidemiologic studies are limited. The goal of this study was to examine associations between urinary concentrations of BP-type UV filters and semen quality and reproductive hormone levels.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study with 215 young university students (18-23 years old) recruited between 2010 and 2011 in Southern Spain (Murcia Region). All men provided a urine, blood and semen sample on a single day. Urinary concentrations of 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone (BP-1); 2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone (BP-2); 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (BP-3); 2,2'-dihydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (BP-8) and 4-hydroxybenzophenone (4OH-BP) were measured by dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Semen quality was evaluated by measuring volume, sperm counts, motility and morphology. Serum samples were analyzed for reproductive hormones, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone (T), inhibin B and estradiol (E2). Associations between urinary concentrations of BP-type UV filters and semen quality parameters and reproductive hormone levels were examined using linear regression, adjusting for potential confounders.
RESULTS: Ninety-seven percent of the men had detectable urinary concentrations of at least one of the five BP-type UV filters quantified. After adjustment for important covariates (body mass index, smoking status and time of blood sample collection), there was a significant positive association between urinary BP-1 and BP-3 concentrations and serum FSH levels (β = 0.08, 95%CI: 0.009; 0.15 and β = 0.04, 95%CI: 0.0002; 0.08, respectively). Urinary BP-1 concentration was also significantly positively associated with T/E2 (β = 0.04, 95%CI: 0.002; 0.07) and negatively with inhibin b/FSH (β = -0.11, 95%CI: -0.21; -0.006) ratio. No significant associations were found between other urinary BP-type UV filters and other reproductive hormone levels or between any semen parameters and any of the urinary BP-type UV filters quantified.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that, in young men, urinary BP-type UV filters may be associated with a modest alteration of some reproductive hormones, but the effects we report on reproductive function are likely to be small, and of unclear clinical significance. Further research is needed to replicate these findings in other male populations.
|Tidsskrift||International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health|
|Status||Udgivet - apr. 2018|