Occupational Exposure to Amsonic Acid

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It is surprising to learn that occupational exposures to potential EDCs at effective concentrations apparently have not been eliminated from the workplace. A series of publications from about 1990 to 1996 presented documentation of sexual impotence in chemical factory workers exposed to a DES-like stilbene derivative. The National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health conducted two studies in response to complaints of impotence and decreased libido among male workers involved in the manufacture of 4,4'-diaminostilbene-2,2' -disulfonic acid (DAS), a key ingredient in the synthesis of dyes and fluorescent whitening agents. Both current and former workers had lower serum testosterone levels [63] and reduced libido [64] as compared to control workers. In addition, duration of employment was negatively correlated with testosterone levels. These studies replicated the observations reported by Quinn et al. [65] who reported low levels of serum testosterone and problems with impotence in male workers. In an uterotropic assay, while DAS was only weakly to negligibly estrogenic [66,67], a single subcutaneous 30 mg/kg dose of 4-nitrotoluene, a precursor of DAS, increased uterine weights without producing overt toxicity. Samples of DAS from the workplace displayed estrogenic activity. In addition, 4-nitrotoluene in the feed impairs testicular function and alters estrous cycles in rats [68].

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