Environmental hexachlorobenzene exposure and human male reproductive function

Ina Olmer Specht, Jens Peter Ellekilde Bonde, Gunnar Toft, Aleksander Giwercman, Marcello Spanò, Davide Bizzaro, Gian Carlo Manicardi, Bo A.G. Jönsson, Wendie A. Robbins

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Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is a persistent environmental fungicide that may disrupt androgen regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between HCB levels and biomarkers of male reproductive function. 589 Spouses of pregnant women from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine were enrolled between 2002 and 2004. The men provided semen and blood samples and were interviewed. HCB was measured in serum by gas chromatography. The mean serum concentrations of HCB were higher in Ukraine (182.3. ng/g lipid) and Greenland (79.0. ng/g lipid) compared to Poland (14.2. ng/g lipid). Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and free androgen index (FAI) were associated with HCB in men from Ukraine and Poland. This study spanning large differences in environmental HCB exposure levels shows a positive association for SHBG and negative association for FAI with high serum levels of HCB in fertile men, but without major consequences for semen quality and the Inuit study population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8 - 14
Number of pages7
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology

Cite this

Specht, I. O., Bonde, J. P. E., Toft, G., Giwercman, A., Spanò, M., Bizzaro, D., Manicardi, G. C., Jönsson, B. A. G., & Robbins, W. A. (2015). Environmental hexachlorobenzene exposure and human male reproductive function. Reproductive Toxicology, 58, 8 - 14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.07.074