Components of Erection and Ejaculation as the Potential Target Systems for Environmental Toxicants

Laith Alzweri, Arthur L. Burnett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The concept that exposure to environmental toxicants may have a deleterious effect on male sexual function is plausible and would be considered along with other established risk factors. This concept has been overlooked in the past. Our review of related literature, including observational, clinical, and experimental studies, supports a possible risk association of environmental and occupational exposure to toxicants with male sexual dysfunction. Toxicants include bisphenol-A, cigarette smoking, organic solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals, e.g., lead and nickel. Neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption have been suggested as leading mechanisms for the deleterious effects of environmental toxicants on male sexual function. Although recent evidence supports a possible risk association between exposure to environmental toxicants and male sexual dysfunctions, direct causality could not be established. More scientific work is needed to identify specific environmental agents that may harm sexual function and to characterize their exact mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBioenvironmental Issues Affecting Men's Reproductive and Sexual Health
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128012994
ISBN (Print)9780128013137
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Ejaculation
  • Environmental risk factors
  • Erection
  • Male sexual dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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