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Human Semen Quality, Sperm DNA Damage, and the Level of Reproductive Hormones in Relation to Urinary Concentrations of Parabens

Jurewicz, Joanna PhD; Radwan, Michał PhD; Wielgomas, Bartosz PhD; Dziewirska, Emila MSc; Karwacka, Anetta MD; Klimowska, Anna MSc; Kałużny, Paweł PhD; Radwan, Paweł PhD; Bochenek, Michał PhD; Hanke, Wojciech MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 11 - p 1034–1040
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001106

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between environmental exposure to parabens and semen quality parameters [main semen parameters, computer-aided semen analysis (CASA parameters], sperm chromatin structure, and the level of reproductive hormones in men [follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, estradiol].

Methods: Urine samples collected from 315 men who attended the infertility clinic for diagnostic purposes with normal semen concentration of 15 to 300 mln/mL were analyzed for five parabens concentrations using a validated gas chromatography ion-tap mass spectrometry method. Participants were interviewed and also provided a semen, saliva, and blood samples.

Results: Urinary parabens concentrations were significantly associated with an increase in the percentage of sperm with abnormal morphology, in sperm with high DNA stainability and a decrease in the percentage of motility and testosterone level.

Conclusions: This is one of the first study on this topic, so the observation of the relationship between parabens and semen quality warrants further investigation.

Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (Drs Jurewicz, Dziewirska, Kałużny, Hanke); Department of Gynecology and Reproduction, “Gameta” Hospital, Rzgów, Poland (Drs Radwan, Karwacka, Radwan); Department of Toxicology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland (Drs Wielgomas, Klimowska); and Department of Biotechnology of Animal Reproduction, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Kraków-Balice, Poland (Dr Bochenek).

Address correspondence to: Joanna Jurewicz, PhD, Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 8 Teresy St, 91-362 Lodz, Poland (

This study was performed under the project “The association between environmental exposure to widespread man made endocrine disrupting chemicals and level of hormones associated with the activity of hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis among young men” supported by National Science Centre in Poland from grant no. UMO-2014/13/B/NZ7/02223 and the project financed with a grant for statutory activity IMP 10.23/2016.

Authors Jurewicz, Radwan, Wielgomas, Dziewirska, Karwacka, Klimowska, Kałużny, Radwan, Bochenek, and Hanke have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine