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Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology

The Journal of Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health

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Reproductive Toxicity of Metals in Men

Alica Pizent / Blanka Tariba / Tanja Živković
Published Online: 2012-05-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/10004-1254-63-2012-2151

Reproductive Toxicity of Metals in Men

A combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors contributes to adverse effects on the reproductive health in men. Metals are pervasive in food, water, air, tobacco smoke, and alcoholic beverages. Experimental studies suggest that many metals have adverse effects on the male reproductive function. However, information about reproductive effects of human exposure to metals is scarce and/or inconsistent. This review summarises the information from epidemiological studies of the effects of metal exposure on reproductive function in men. Factors capable of affecting these relationships were identified and discussed. A particular attention is given to the studies considering influence of concomitant exposure to various metals.

These studies have generally confirmed that even moderate- to low-level exposure to lead affects certain reproductive parameters, and that exposure to cadmium affects the prostate function and serum testosterone levels. Adverse effects of mercury, manganese, chromium and arsenic on semen quality and altered serum hormone are less well documented. There is no clear evidence that boron exposure may impair reproductive health in men. Only a few studies have investigated reproductive effects of concomitant exposure to several metals and controlled for potential confounders. Future studies should consider the contribution of combined exposure to various metals and/or other factors that may influence individual susceptibility to reproductive health impairment in men.

Utjecaj toksičnosti metala na reprodukcijsku funkciju u muškaraca

Postoje indikacije da kombinacija genetskih, okolišnih i čimbenika načina života pridonosi uočenom poremećaju reprodukcijskog zdravlja u muškaraca. Metali su široko rasprostranjeni u čovjekovu okolišu te u hrani, vodi, zraku, cigaretnom dimu i alkoholnim pićima. Rezultati eksperimentalnih istraživanja sugeriraju štetne učinke većine ispitivanih metala na mušku reprodukcijsku funkciju. Međutim, odgovarajuća su istraživanja u ljudi oskudna. Ovaj rad sažima rezultate dosadašnjih epidemioloških istraživanja o učincima izloženosti metalima na mušku reprodukcijsku funkciju. Poseban naglasak dan je istraživanjima koja su razmatrala utjecaj istodobne izloženosti različitim metalima uz čimbenike čovjekova načina života i njihovo međudjelovanje na reprodukcijske učinke. Objavljeni rezultati daju dovoljno dokaza o štetnom djelovanju olova i žive na neke reprodukcijske parametre te kadmija na poremećaj prostate i razinu testosterona u serumu, čak u uvjetima umjerene do niske razine izloženosti. Manje je dokaza o štetnom djelovanju na kvalitetu sjemena i razinu spolnih hormona nađeno za mangan. Podaci koji upućuju na moguće štetno djelovanje arsena ili kroma nisu dosljedni, dok o štetnom djelovanju bora na mušku reprodukcijsku funkciju nema jasnih podataka. Utjecaj potencijalno uzročnih varijabli uzet je u obzir samo u nekoliko radova. Stoga buduća istraživanja poremećaja reprodukcijskog zdravlja u muškaraca trebaju razmatrati doprinos istovremene izloženosti različitim metalima koji u kombinaciji s ostalim čimbenicima mogu utjecati na osobnu (pre)osjetljivost.

Keywords: human semen quality; metals; metalloids; metal interactions; sex hormones

Keywords: kvaliteta sjemena u ljudi; metali; metaloidi; međudjelovanje metala; spolni hormoni

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About the article


Published Online: 2012-05-01

Published in Print: 2012-04-01


Citation Information: Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, ISSN (Print) 0004-1254, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/10004-1254-63-2012-2151.

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