2005 Progress Report: Dioxins, Male Pubertal Development and Testis Function

EPA Grant Number: R829437
Title: Dioxins, Male Pubertal Development and Testis Function
Investigators: Hauser, Russ , Korrick, Susan A. , Lee, Mary , Revich, Boris , Sergeyev, Oleg , Williams, Paige L. , Zeilert, Vladamir
Current Investigators: Hauser, Russ , Korrick, Susan A. , Williams, Paige L.
Institution: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
EPA Project Officer: Hunt, Sherri
Project Period: December 1, 2001 through November 30, 2005 (Extended to February 3, 2008)
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 1, 2004 through November 30, 2005
Project Amount: $2,252,427
RFA: Endocrine Disruptors: Epidemiologic Approaches (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Economics and Decision Sciences , Health , Safer Chemicals , Endocrine Disruptors


The objective of the research project is to determine whether exposure to dioxins, a byproduct of industrial processes and an environmental contaminant, is associated with altered growth and sexual maturation in boys. Specific objectives of the project are to explore whether: (1) physical growth is delayed and stunted, (2) sexual maturation is delayed, and (3) reproductive hormones are altered. Dioxin levels will be measured in blood samples drawn from the boys and their mothers. Yearly physical examinations will be performed to assess growth velocity and onset and tempo of sexual maturation. Questionnaire data will be collected on birth and medical history, as well as lifestyle factors. Statistical modeling will be used to explore the relationship between serum levels of dioxin and altered physical growth and sexual maturation.

Progress Summary:

During the previous year, we recruited 516 boys and their families. The participation rate in the annual examinations continues to exceed 90 percent. We completed data analysis on dioxin results and questionnaire data from 30 boys in our pilot study. Our results showed that dietary consumption of locally raised animals and the distance to Khimprom factories were predictive of blood levels of dioxins. We published a manuscript on these results. We also completed analysis on the data collected from the first 348 boys recruited into the prospective cohort study. These results suggest that exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds is high, as expected, in this population of preadolescents. We will continue to complete the analysis on all 516 boys during the upcoming year.

Future Activities:

We will continue annual followup of the boys, which consists of a physical exam, blood drawn, urine sample, and completion of a detailed questionnaire with his mother. We will follow each boy annually until age 18 when we can assess reproductive fitness by collecting a semen sample.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 10 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

adolescents, children, dioxins, growth, maturation, puberty,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Health Risk Assessment, pesticides, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Risk Assessments, Biochemistry, Children's Health, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, puberty, dioxin, neurotropin growth, male sexual development, cell-cell interactions, testis development, EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals, sexual development, sertoli cells, developmental biology, hypospadias, human exposure, human growth and development, physiology, fetal development, chemical interference, embryonic development, gonad morphology, testis function, human health risk, postnatal development, paracine growth factors

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • Final Report