Air pollution and effects on reproductive-system functions globally with particular emphasis on the Brazilian population

J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2010 Jan;13(1):1-15. doi: 10.1080/10937401003673800.


In recent years, numerous studies showed that exposure to environmental air pollutants affected reproductive functions and, in particular, produced adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes, fertility, and fetal health. Epidemiological studies demonstrated that exposure to ambient levels of air pollutants are associated with low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, prematurity, neonatal death, and decreased fertility in males. Experimental animal data supported these findings and indicated that female fertility was also disturbed. Although there are various mechanisms of action suggested to show the manner in which air pollutants alter pregnancy and the reproductive systems in both genders, further studies are needed to correlate causal relationships. This information would serve to better understand the underlying physiologic changes in the reproductive system induced by exposure to air pollutants and possibly establish a link between the dose and response of individual or mixture of air pollutants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infertility / chemically induced
  • Infertility / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / chemically induced
  • Reproduction / drug effects*