Reproductive toxicity

There is only limited information on the reproductive effects of DMF. Miscarriage was reported in three out of nine women exposed to a number of chemicals including DMF (Farquharson et al., 1983). Disturbances in menstruation were noted in 26 of 70 (37%) women exposed to DMF. There are no data available for controls.

From an analysis of company statistics, general morbidity associated with gynaecological problems was higher in women exposed to DMF (Aldyreva and Gafurov, 1980). Another study reported 14% miscarriages in women exposed to DMF compared to 10% in controls (Schottek, 1972). There were no statistical analyses of these data (IPCS, 1991).

Subchronic studies in monkeys showed no reproductive effects (e.g., semen analyses, testicular pathology, menses cycling) when exposed for 6 hours/day for 5 days/week for 13 weeks to concentrations of up to 500 ppm (Hurtt et al., 1989).

DMF is only slightly embryotoxic or teratogenic in animal studies (Kennedy, 1986). Effects are only seen with high doses that produce maternal toxicity. In the case of gavage or intraperitoneal administration (neither of which reflect industrial exposure), an increase in malformations may occur in the absence of maternal toxicity. This is also true for dermal exposure but with a smaller incidence (IPCS, 1991).

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