Toxic Responses of the Male Reproductive System
The toxic substance can impair the male reproductive system at several sites, including neural, endocrine, gonadal, and accessory glands, and can affect sexual behavior. Frequently, in toxicological studies, the male reproductive system is not examined in routine autopsy. Even when there are clear indications of the toxic nature of certain chemicals impairing fertility, studies are conducted mainly on females. In 1977, the discovery of infertility and sterility among male employees exposed to dibromochloropropane (DBCP) is one example of the dangerous consequences of the lack of systematic investigation. The workers themselves noted the paucity of children of the men exposed to DBCP. After this problem was reported, a thorough investigation was conducted. In seven separate studies, it was shown that occupational exposure to DBCP caused testicular damage. Testicular biopsies of men exposed to DBCP showed spermatogenic damage.