Propylene glycol monomethyl ether. A three-generation study of isomer B effects on reproductive and developmental parameters in rats

Abstract : Propylene glycol monomethyl ether (PGME) is widely used as a solvent in numerous commercial products. Its chemical synthesis leads to the formation of two isomers: alpha and beta, the latter being usually present in the range of 0.5-1.5%. Isomer a has been shown to be of low toxicity. Isomer beta raises concerns as to its reproductive and developmental effects. We evaluated the reproductive and developmental toxicity of two different commercial mixes of PGME (Mix A: 99% isomer alpha and 0.5% isomer beta, Mix B: 98.5% isomer a and 1.5% isomer beta) on Sprague-Dawley rats. The use of two mixes allowed us to differentiate between isomer alpha and isomer 0 effects. Male and female rats were exposed through drinking water to mixes A or B during a gametogenesis cycle (64 days for males and 15 days for females) to 0, 2, 5, 10 and 15% (v/v) of each mix. These animals (F-0) and the three following generations (F-1, F-2 and F-3) were followed. We observed a statistically significant decrease in the number of pups in isomer a-treated animals of generation F-1 and a nondose-related variation of the sex ratio in F, and F-2 generations after PGME mix B treatment. The most important effect observed was a decrease in testicular and epididymal sperm counts in relation to PGME isomer P in acute daily exposure, on the first parental generation. The effect evidenced on sex ratio needs further work in order to assay the potential persistent effects of PGME exposure.
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Emmanuel Lemazurier, Anthony Lecomte, Franck Robidel, Frédéric Y. Bois. Propylene glycol monomethyl ether. A three-generation study of isomer B effects on reproductive and developmental parameters in rats. Toxicology and Industrial Health, SAGE Publications, 2005, 21 (1-2), pp.33-40. ⟨10.1191/0748233705th213oa⟩. ⟨ineris-00961896⟩

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