Environmental and occupational exposures associated with male infertility

  • Tihana Marić University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Department of Medical Biology, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Aleksandra Fučić Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Anna Aghyanian Medical Institute Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Moscow, Russia
Keywords: alcohol, bisphenols, diet, electromagnetic fields, endocrine disruptors, obesity, parabens, phthalates, pesticides, smoking, sperm


The upsurge in male infertility over the last two decades, possibly due to environmental exposure, has raised significant interest, particularly boosted by reports from fertility clinics, which showed that chronic diseases and hereditary or other medical conditions might only partially explain current incidence of male infertility. Both environmental and occupational settings may have a significant role in exposure to complex mixtures of endocrine disruptors (ED), which play a major role in fertility disorders. The aim of this review is to give an insight into the current knowledge on exposure settings which may be associated with male infertility. Our study relied on a systematic search of PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science for articles published between January 2000 and September 2020. It showed that some well documented factors associated with male infertility include smoking, and physiological disturbances or chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, which in turn, may also reflect lifestyle choices and environmental exposures, especially to EDs such as phthalates, bisphenols, pesticides, and flame retardants. However, the number of studies on the aetiology of male infertility is still too low in comparison with the size of affected population. Occupational health follow-ups and medical surveillance do not collect any data on male infertility, even though ED chemicals are part of many technological processes.

How to Cite
Marić T, Fučić A, Aghyanian A. Environmental and occupational exposures associated with male infertility. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol [Internet]. 2021Jun.7 [cited 2021Sep.21];72(2). Available from: https://arhiv.imi.hr/index.php/arhiv/article/view/1364