A new study published online on March 3, 2015 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Research investigated the association between prenatal phthalate exposure and reproductive parameters of adolescent males in southern Sweden. Axelsson and colleagues from Lund University, Sweden retrieved serum samples from a biobank for mothers of 112 men aged 17-20 years. They analyzed the samples for metabolites of two food contact substances, namely, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) and diisononyl phthalate (DiNP, substance mixture CAS 28553-12-0, 68515-48-0). Further, the researchers assessed testicular volume and semen quality of the 112 adolescent sons and also measured their serum levels of reproductive hormones. Findings from the study suggest that prenatal DEHP and DiNP exposure is associated with a lower semen volume. Additionally, adolescent sons with the highest levels of one DiNP metabolite had a lower testicular volume and levels of some DiNP metabolites were associated with altered hormone levels. The study’s authors therefore concluded that prenatal exposure to DiNP and DEHP seemed negatively associated with reproductive function of adolescent men.

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Axelsson, J. et al. (2015). “Prenatal phthalate exposure and reproductive function in young men.Environmental Research 138, 264–270.