Associations between intrauterine exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls on neonatal ano-genital distance

Revital Sheinberg, Eva Laura Siegel, Rimona Keidar, Dror Mandel, Ronit Lubetzky, Elkana Kohn, Ayelet Livneh, Josef Tovbin, Moshe Betser, Miki Moskovich, Ronella Marom, Amit Ovental, Sharon Daniel, Pam Factor-Litvak, Matitiahu Berkovitch, Amalia Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are widespread environmental contaminants. PCBs have endocrine disrupting properties which raises concerns regarding their effect on the developing fetus. This study aimed to examine the association between prenatal exposure to PCBs and anogenital distance (AGD) in newborns. Serum concentrations of PCB congeners -118, -138, -153 and -180 were measured in 175 pregnant women presenting to the delivery room. AGD was measured in their newborns. Regression models were used to estimate associations between maternal PCB exposure and infant anogenital measurements, controlling for possible confounding variables. Mean maternal serum concentrations were 2.95 ± 2.18 ng/g, 4.62 ± 3.54 ng/g, 7.67 ± 6.42 ng/g and 5.10 ± 3.91 ng/g for congeners -118, -138, -153 and -180, respectively. Higher maternal concentrations of PCBs were associated with reduced AGD measures in male infants. Higher maternal concentrations of PCB-138 and PCB-153 were associated with reduced ano-scrotal distances and higher maternal concentrations of all four PCB congeners were associated with reduced ano-penile distances. No significant associations were found between any PCB congener and any AGD measure in female newborns. This study demonstrates that intrauterine exposure to PCBs may be associated with reduced AGD in male newborns. More research is needed to reveal the implications for adult reproductive health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive Toxicology
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Anogenital distance
  • Environmental contaminants
  • Genital development
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Reproductive toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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