Background: Animal studies have suggested that bisphenol-A (BPA) is a potential human endocrine disrupter; but evidence from human studies is needed.
Methods: We conducted an occupational cohort study to examine the effect of occupational exposure to BPA on the risk of male sexual dysfunction. Current workers from BPA-exposed and control factories were recruited. The exposed workers were exposed to very high BPA levels in their workplace. Male sexual function was ascertained through in-person interviews using a standard male sexual function inventory.
Results: BPA-exposed workers had consistently higher risk of male sexual dysfunction across all domains of male sexual function than the unexposed workers. After controlling for matching variables and potential confounders, exposed workers had a significantly increased risk of reduced sexual desire [odds ratios (OR) = 3.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.8-8.6), erectile difficulty (OR = 4.5, 95% CI 2.1-9.8), ejaculation difficulty (OR = 7.1, 95% CI 2.9-17.6), and reduced satisfaction with sex life (OR = 3.9, 95% CI 2.3-6.6). A dose-response relationship was observed with an increasing level of cumulative BPA exposure associated with a higher risk of sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, compared with the unexposed workers, BPA-exposed workers reported significantly higher frequencies of reduced sexual function within 1 year of employment in the BPA-exposed factories.
Conclusions: Our findings provide the first evidence that exposure to BPA in the workplace could have an adverse effect on male sexual dysfunction.