EPA Science Inventory

TRIHALOMETHANE LEVELS IN HOME TAP WATER AND SEMEN QUALITY

Citation:

Mendola, P, L. Fenster, K. Waller, Windham, Gayle C, T. Henneman, M. Anderson, J. Overstreet, AND S. Swan. TRIHALOMETHANE LEVELS IN HOME TAP WATER AND SEMEN QUALITY. EPIDEMIOLOGY. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, 14(6):650-658, (2002).

Description:

Trihalomethane Levels in Home Tap Water and Semen Quality
Laura Fenster, 1 Kirsten Waller, 2 Gayle Windham, 1 Tanya Henneman, 2 Meredith Anderson, 2 Pauline Mendola, 3 James W. Overstreet, 4 Shanna H. Swan5

1California Department of Health Services, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1700, Oakland, CA 94612; 2Sequoia Foundation, La Jolla, CA 92037. Dr. Waller is currently with the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Harrisburg, PA 17108; 3 National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; 4Center for Health and the Environment, University of California, Davis 95616; 5University of Missouri, Dept of Family and Community Medicine, Columbia, MO 65212

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are common contaminants of chlorinated drinking water. We examined the relationship of THMs to semen quality in 157 men, of whom most (98%) gave two samples. Total THM (TTHM) levels were assigned based on routine water utility measurements taken during the 90 days preceding the date of semen collection. We analyzed semen parameters as continuous variables adjusting for potential confounders using repeated measures analyses. Estimated TTHM level was not associated with sperm count, concentration, motility, or morphology parameters. Consumption of cold home tap water alone was weakly associated with decreases in percent normal morphology. As the ingestion metric (TTHM level multiplied by cold home tap water consumption) increased, percent normal morphology decreased and percent head defects increased. We also investigated the relationship between semen quality and each of the four compounds that comprise TTHMs. Estimated exposure to bromodichloromethane was inversely related to linearity, a motility parameter. Because morphology and motility parameters have been shown to be associated with fertility, additional research with larger sample sizes and more comprehensive exposure assessment is warranted.

Key Words: trihalomethanes, drinking water, chlorination; disinfection byproducts, semen, sperm count; sperm motion; sperm morphology

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 11/01/2003
Completion Date: 11/01/2003
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record Created: 02/10/2004
Record Released: 02/10/2004
Record ID: 76242

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

HUMAN STUDIES DIVISION

EPIDEMIOLOGY AND BIOMARKERS BRANCH