PFCs chemicals impact young men fertility, Endocrine Society reports

Endocrine Disruption of Androgenic Activity by Perfluoroalkyl Substances: Clinical and Experimental Evidence, 2019

Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) are a class of organic molecules that are used in many everyday products such as oil and water repellents, coatings for cookware, carpets, and textiles.

The crucial emerging role of PFCs as pollutants of water, soil, and air and their persistent level in males warrant for more investigation on the mechanisms of PFC toxicity in humans.

There is a new reason to be concerned about toxic chemicals used in nonstick pans, waterproof products, and firefighting foam: PFCs impair male reproductive health, according to a recent study, the intercept reports.

Abstract

Background
Considerable attention has been paid to perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) because of their worldwide presence in humans, wildlife, and environment. A wide variety of toxicological effects is well supported in animals, including testicular toxicity and male infertility. For these reasons, the understanding of epidemiological associations and of the molecular mechanisms involved in the endocrine-disrupting properties of PFCs on human reproductive health is a major concern.

Objective
To investigate the relationship between PFC exposure and male reproductive health.

Design
This study was performed within a screening protocol to evaluate male reproductive health in high schools.

Patients
This is a cross-sectional study on 212 exposed males from the Veneto region, one of the four areas worldwide heavily polluted with PFCs, and 171 nonexposed controls.

Main Outcome Measures
Anthropometrics, seminal parameters, and sex hormones were measured in young males from exposed areas compared with age-matched controls. We also performed biochemical studies in established experimental models.

Results
We found that increased levels of PFCs in plasma and seminal fluid positively correlate with circulating testosterone (T) and with a reduction of semen quality, testicular volume, penile length, and anogenital distance. Experimental evidence points toward an antagonistic action of perfluorooctanoic acid on the binding of T to androgen receptor (AR) in a gene reporter assay, a competition assay on an AR-coated surface plasmon resonance chip, and an AR nuclear translocation assay.

Discussion
This study documents that PFCs have a substantial impact on human health as they interfere with hormonal pathways, potentially leading to male infertility.

Ground Water polluted by Toxic Teflon Chemical, C8, PFCs in several States

Meanwhile chemical GenX used to replace the surfactant PFOA found to cause many of the same health problems in lab tests that the original chemical did, including cancer and reproductive problems

New information emerged last month about toxic contamination from chemicals used to manufacture Teflon pots and pans and many other consumer, military, and industrial products.

Water tests in several states have revealed a growing number of sites where the groundwater is polluted by the most well studied of these chemicals — C8 or PFOA — prompting calls from a group of state governors for federal action.

State officials want the Environmental Protection Agency to issue federal guidelines on how to understand the hazards of PFCs and how best to respond when water pollution is discovered.

Meanwhile there are new indications that another perfluorinated chemical (PFC), heavily promoted by chemical manufacturers as a safer substitute for C8, is also toxic and just as persistent in the environment as C8, raising questions about the adequacy of a voluntary C8 phase-out agreement promoted for the past decade by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meanwhile, chemical industry’s own research indicates that “safer substitutes” are also potentially hazardous.

Continue reading Toxic Teflon Chemical, C8, Found In Tap Water in Several States,
Earth Island Journal, APRIL 4, 2016.
Tab image by Rick Harris.