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  • 11
    Publication Date: 2018-01-17
    Description: Objectives Environmental exposure to chemicals has been considered a potential factor contributing to deteriorated semen quality. However, previous literature on exposure to air pollution and semen quality is inconsistent. We therefore investigated the health effects of short-term and long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) on semen quality in Taiwanese men from the general population. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 6475 male participants aged 15–49 years who participated in a standard medical examination programme in Taiwan between 2001 and 2014. Semen quality was assessed according to the WHO 1999 guidelines, including sperm concentration, total motility, progressive motility and morphology. Three-month and 2-year average PM 2.5 concentrations were estimated at each participant’s address using a spatiotemporal model based on satellite-derived aerosol optical depth data. Multivariable linear and logistic regressions were used to examine the associations between PM 2.5 and semen quality. Results A robust association was observed between exposure to PM 2.5 and decreased normal morphology. Every increment of 5 µg/m 3 in 2-year average PM 2.5 was significantly associated with a decrease of 1.29% in sperm normal morphology and a 26% increased risk of having the bottom 10% of sperm normal morphology, after adjusting for a wide range of potential confounders (p〈0.001). On the other hand, an increment of 5 µg/m 3 in 2-year average PM 2.5 was associated with an increase of 1.03 x 10 6 /mL in sperm concentration and a 10% decreased risk of being the bottom 10% of sperm concentration (both p〈0.001). Similar results were found for 3-month PM 2.5 . Conclusions Exposure to ambient PM 2.5 air pollution is associated with a lower level of sperm normal morphology and a higher level of sperm concentration.
    Keywords: Open access
    Print ISSN: 1351-0711
    Electronic ISSN: 1470-7926
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing Group
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