To study if levels of phthalate metabolites were
associated with semen quality and reproductive
hormones in general Swedish men researchers
recruited 314 young men delivering semen, urine and
blood samples at the same visit.
New research from Lund University in Sweden analyzed
reproductive hormones and several semen parameters
including progressive motility and high DNA
stainability (HDS), a marker for sperm immaturity.
In urine, they analyzed metabolites of phthalates,
including diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and studied
associations between urinary levels of the
metabolites and seminal as well as serum
reproductive parameters, accounting for potential
Among the men with the lowest amounts of the
compound in their urine, some 57 percent of their
sperms swam forwards as they should. Among those
with the highest phthalate counts, this sperm
motility dipped to 46 percent.
DEHP metabolite levels, particularly urinary
mono-(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECPP),
were negatively associated with progressive sperm
motility, which was 11 percentage points lower in
the highest quartile of MECPP than in the lowest.
Further, men in the highest quartile of the DEHP
metabolite monoethylhexyl phthalate had 27% higher
HDS than men in the lowest quartile.
Harmful effects of bisphenol A proved experimentally
"...this procedure made it possible to show for the
first time, that phtalates (a different category of
endocrine disruptors that are found in PVC,
plastics, synthetic materials, sprays, etc.) inhibit
the development of future spermatozoa in the human
Food Packaging and Bisphenol A and Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)
Phthalate Exposure: Findings from a Dietary
For more information
Phthalate exposure and reproductive parameters in
young men from the general Swedish population