Common surfactant used in food packaging found to be toxic for reproduction in mammals



ABSTRACT - Migration from a multilayer plastic material intended for food contact showed that 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyne-4,7-diol mixture (surfynol), used as a surfactant in the adhesive employed to build the multilayer, was transferred to water and other food simulants in contact with the plastic. When these multilayer plastics were used for containing seminal doses for artificial insemination, it was found that fertility was seriously damaged in terms of motility, acrosome integrity, mitochondrial activity and penetration capacity in the cells, thus affecting male fertility. Quantitative proteomic analysis of exposed germinal cells demonstrated the inhibition of key proteins involved in the fertilization capacity by affecting the cytoskeleton, sperm motility, the energy machinery and sperm defense mechanisms against oxidation, therefore confirming the surfactant-induced male infertility. These results open up new and interesting perspectives for the study of reprotoxicity caused by different chemicals common in our daily lives.

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