Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and male reproductive health: a review
Balanced functioning of the endocrine system is essential for preservation of human species by providing normal growth and development, reproduction, and normal functioning of all other organ systems. In the last decades, emerging area of interest is the impact of environmental exposures to human health. Important environmental pollutants are endocrine-disrupting che- micals (EDCs), which can have adverse e ects on the living organism due to their interference with the endocrine system. The group of known EDCs embraces ubiquitous synthetic substan- ces used as industrial lubricants and solvents, with their by-products, incomplete combustion remains, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, pesticides and plasticizers. Natural com- pounds such as genistein, a phytoestrogen, and heavy metals can also have endocrine e ects. Endocrine disruption is a serious public health problem. EDCs among other health problems ge- nerate reproductive disorders in males, such as decreases in sperm count and quality, increases in testicular germ cell numbers, prostate and breast cancers, cryptorchidism and hypospadias, impaired fertility, and infertility. This paper critically reviews the current knowledge of the impa- ct of EDCs on reproductive disorders in human males.
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