In order to analyze the trend of change in semen quality of Chinese healthy men over recent 25 years, a total of 115 reports were collected on quality inspection of semen of healthy Chinese men between 1985-2009 through literature search. This involved 23,126 people from 69 counties and cities in China. The results indicated that the semen concentration of healthy Chinese men appears in possible decline over the last 25 years (P < 0.05). A cross-sectional study in our group was performed to evaluate the semen quality of 1346 healthy men residing in Chongqing area of south-west China in 2007. We analyzed urinary levels of PAHs and PAEs metabolites and assessed semen quality, sperm DNA damage, and sperm apoptosis in 232 men from the population. The data indicates that the environmental level of PAH exposure is associated with increased sperm DNA damage, but not in the semen quality. These findings suggest that exposure to PAHs may disrupt the genetic integrity of sperm and thereby interfere with Chinese male fertility. Meanwhile, we observed weak associations between MBP of PAE metabolites and sperm concentration in Chongqing general population. This suggested that the Chinese general population exposure to the environmental level of PAEs may cause a reduction in sperm concentration. We observed no significant association between other phthalates and reproductive biomarkers suggested that phthalates may vary in their reproductive toxicity.


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  • Received: 12 May 2012
  • Accepted: 12 May 2012
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