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LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF SEMEN QUALITY AFTER INTERMITTENT EXPOSURE TO AIR POLLUTION
Rubes, J., D. Zudova, S. G. Selevan, D. P. Evenson, AND S P. Darney. LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF SEMEN QUALITY AFTER INTERMITTENT EXPOSURE TO AIR POLLUTION. Presented at American Society of Andrology, Seattle, WA, April 24-28, 2002.
LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF SEMEN QUALITY AFTER INTERMITTENT EXPOSURE TO AIR POLLUTION. J. Rubes*, D. Zudova*, Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, CR, S.G. Selevan*, US EPA/ORD/NCEA, Washington, DC, D.P. Evenson, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, and S.D. Perreault, US EPA/ORD/NHEERL, RTP, NC.
A previous study of semen quality in men providing one sample each, showed significant associations between exposure to high levels of air pollution and adverse effects on sperm morphology and sperm chromatin structure (Selevan et al., Environ Health Perspect 108:887, 2000). These positive findings prompted a followup study with a longitudinal design. Thirty-seven men from Teplice District, Czech Republic were surveyed on 7 occasions over 2 years time: during late summer when pollution was low and winter when pollution was high. Semen outcomes were analyzed for changes associated with levels of air pollution components (SO2, NOx, PM10 or PAH) or with season (late summer or winter) using a mixed model regression analysis (SAS) for repeated measures, and controlling for potential confounders. No significant associations were found between exposure and sperm concentration, percent motile sperm, or percent normal sperm heads. In contrast, the percent sperm with abnormal chromatin structure increased with exposure. Specifically, DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI), obtained using SCSATM, showed significant (p<0.05) positive associations with season of high air pollution ( =0.191, 95% CI: 0.018, 0.365), and with SO2 levels ( =0.026, CI: 0.001, 0.053). Correlations between DFI and either PM10 or PAH were of borderline significance (p<0.066 and p<0.059, respectively). These findings confirm our earlier results suggesting that intermittent exposures to high levels of air pollution may increase risks of infertility and male-mediated developmental toxicity. This abstract does not reflect EPA policy.