An exposure assessment of DI-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and DI-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) in human semen

Sang Won Han, Hyeyoung Lee, Soon Young Han, Duck Soo Lim, Ki Kyung Jung, Seung Jun Kwack, Kyu Bong Kim, Byung Mu Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Levels of the phthalates such as di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP, a major metabolite of DEHP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP, a major metabolite of DBP), and phthalic acid (P, (a common metabolite of phthalates, including DEHP and DBP) were determined in the semen samples of 99 healthy volunteers without known prior medicosurgical history. Samples were obtained from young men (age 20-25 yr) who visited a clinic, and the semen concentrations of phthalates were measured using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). UPLC/MS/MS showed that mean concentrations in semen samples were 1.07 g/ml for MEHP, 0.61 g/ml for DEHP, 0.39 g/ml for PA, 0.06 g/ml for MBP, and 0.003 g/ml for DBP. The concentration of MEHP (the metabolite of DEHP) was highest, and the concentrations of the metabolites including MEHP, MBP, and PA were higher than actual concentrations of parent DEHP and DBP. These findings suggest the detection of phthalates in healthy human semen might require further investigation for effects on human fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1463-1469
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
Issue number21-22
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a research grant from the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) and the National Institute of Toxicological Research (NITR).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'An exposure assessment of DI-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and DI-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) in human semen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this