The overview of current evidence on the reproductive toxicity of dibutyl phthalate
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Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Chemical Safety)
Online publication date: 2020-11-13
Corresponding author
Ewelina Czubacka   

Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Chemical Safety, Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(1):15-37
Over the past years, many legitimate concerns have been raised about the effects of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) as an endocrine disruptor, especially on reproduction. The aim of this publication is to critically review the literature related to the developmental and reproductive toxicity of DBP in animals. Several electronic databases were systematically searched until 2019. Studies were qualified for the review if they: linked exposure to DPB with reproduction, were published in English after 1990, and were conducted on animals. In the studies of the testicular effects of DBP on experimental animals, the most common effects of exposure included reduced fertility, atrophic changes in male gonads, degenerative changes in the epididymis, as well as a reduction in sperm count and motility, cryptorchidism, hypospadias, poor sperm quality and other genital defects (decreased testicular weight, delayed spermatogenesis, Leydig cell aggregation, impaired Sertoli cell maturation, and significant inhibitions of testicular enzymes). The embryotoxic effects of DBP on laboratory animals included mainly an increase in fetal resorption and a decrease in live births. The teratogenic effects of DBP also manifest as skeletal malformations in fetuses, malformations of male gonads and other genital effects. On the basis of the literature data, it is clearly demonstrated that DBP shows anti-androgenic effects; however, there are also reports confirming its weak estrogenic effect. Additionally, lower doses cause more adverse effects than the highest dose, which is an important fact because of the widespread environmental exposure to DBP. The studies clearly confirm that DBP is an endocrine disruptor. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(1):15–37
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