Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Sperm Abnormalities in Men Exposed to PCBs and PCDFs

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Sperm Abnormalities in Men Exposed to PCBs and PCDFs

Article excerpt

Hsu PC, Huang W, Yao WJ, Wu MH, Guo YL, Lambert GH. 2003. Sperm changes in men exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls and dibenzofurans. JAMA 289:2943 2944.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were once commonly used in transformers and other industrial applications because of their superior insulating properties and stability. When the adverse health effects of this class of compounds were discovered in the 1970s, they were banned in much of the world. However, because of their persistence, they are still among the most ubiquitous man-made environmental contaminants and are detectable in most human beings worldwide Polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), produced when PCBs are burned, are equally persistent and toxic.

During a six-month period in 1978-1979, approximately 2,000 people in Yucheng, Taiwan, consumed cooking oil contaminated with PCBs and PCDFs. PCBs had leaked from heat exchangers into the finished oil product. The PCBs were partially degraded by the heat, producing PCDFs and other chlorinated compounds A registry of those exposed was created to track adverse health outcomes. …

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