Urinary concentrations of benzophenone type ultraviolet light filters and semen quality

Capsule:
Urinary concentrations of two benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters (BP-2, BP-8), chemicals used as sunscreens, were found to be associated with select semen endpoints.

Authors:
Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., Zhen Chen, Ph.D., Sungduk Kim, Ph.D., Katherine J. Sapra, M.P.H., M.Phil., Jisuk Bae, M.D., Ph.D., Kurunthachalam Kannan, Ph.D.

Volume 104, Issue 4, Pages 989-996

Abstract:

Objective:
To assess benzophenone-type ultraviolet (UV) filter concentrations, chemicals used in sunscreen and personal care products, and semen endpoints.

Design:
Cohort.

Setting:
Sixteen counties in Michigan and Texas.

Patient(s):
A total of 413 men provided semen and urine samples, 2005–2009. Five UV filters were quantified (ng/mL) in urine using liquid chromatography–triple quadrupole mass spectrometry: BP-1 (2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone), BP-2 (2,2′,4,4′-tetrahydroxybenzophenone), BP-3 (2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone), BP-8 (2,2′-dihydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone), and 4-OH-BP (4-hydroxybenzophenone). Using linear regression, β-coefficients (β) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each chemical dichotomized at the 75th percentile and Box-Cox transformed semen endpoint were estimated, after adjusting for age, body mass index, cotinine, season, and site.

Intervention(s):
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Thirty-five semen endpoints.

Result(s):
BP-2 was associated with diminished sperm concentration (β = −0.74; 95% CI −1.41, −0.08), straight (β = −4.57; 95% CI −8.95, −0.18) and linear movement (β = −3.15; 95% CI −6.01, −0.30), more immature sperm (β = 0.38; 95% CI 0.15, 0.62), and a decreased percentage of other tail abnormalities (β = −0.16; 95% CI −0.31, −0.01). BP-8 was associated with decreased hypo-osmotic swelling (β = −2.57; 95% CI −4.86, −0.29) and higher acrosome area (β = 1.14; 95% CI 0.01, 2.26). No associations were observed for BP-1, BP-3, or 4OH-BP.

Conclusion(s):
The findings suggest that specific UV filters may be associated with some aspects of semen endpoints, but await future corroboration.

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