Date of Award

Spring 5-2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College



First Advisor

Wesley Gray

Second Advisor

Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Beverly Wade


1,3-Butadiene is a colorless, non-corrosive gas with a mild aromatic or gasoline like odor. Manufacturing, transporting and usage are the main sources of l,3-butadiene pollution in the environment. 1,3-butadiene is kno wn to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans and animals. The primary routes of potential human exposure to 1,3-butadiene are inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact. 1,3-butadiene is metabolized in experimental animals and human liver microsomes to epoxide metabolites, initially 1,2-epoxy-3-butene and subsequently 1,2:3,4-di epoxybutane, by cytochrome P450 enzymes. There are significant species differences in the metabolism of 1,3-butadiene both in vivo and in vitro. (NIH, 1993) Epidemiological and mechanistic data indicate a casual relationship between occupational exposures to 1,3-butadiene resulting in lymphatic and or hematopoietic cancers. ("Eight Report on Carcinogens," [ROC], 1993) In conjunction with butadiene exposure, there has been a steady decline in male fertility. One pressing question is whether or not l,3-butadiene contributes to this decline? The pro state is an important part of a man's urogenital system, as the function of this organ contributes to the proper functioning of the bladder and sexual function. The prostate has two main functions; one is controlling urination, and the second is to aid in sexual acti vity. Prostate disease and other types of reproductive disorders have been linked to en vironmental toxins such as butadiene a man-made steroid.