Potential Symptoms: Skin and eye irritation, photosensitivity which can result in dermatologic lesions; changes in mood
Health Effects: Toxic; may cause heritable genetic damage; may impair fertility; possible risk of harm to the unborn child
Affected Organs: Reproductive system; central nervous system
Progesterone is an OSHA Select carcinogen, but no PEL has been established.
Although progesterone is an endogenous hormone important for the maintenance of a normal pregnancy, it is listed in a NIOSH Alert as one of the drugs that should be handled as a hazardous drug.
Plasma progesterone levels fall markedly around the time of amenorrhea in peri-menopausal women and remain low in postmenopausal women. Progesterone levels are relatively stable in men 40-80 years of age.
Progesterone is metabolized into a number of other biologically active steroids including allopregnanolone, as well as into urinary metabolite markers of progesterone status, pregnanediol and pregnanetriol.
Some CNS effects of progesterone are thought to involve the modulation of GABA(A) receptor activity by the progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone.
No adverse effects of occupational exposure to progesterone were located in the biomedical literature.
Andréen, L., Sundstrom-Poromaa, I., Bixo, M., Andersson, A., Nyberg, S. and Bäckström, T.: Relationship between allopregnanolone and negative mood in postmenopausal women taking sequential hormone replacement therapy with vaginal progesterone. Psychoneuroendocrinology30(2): 212-224, 2005.
Bélanger, A., et al.: Changes in serum concentrations of conjugated and unconjugated steroids in 40- to 80-year-old men. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.79(4): 1086-1090, 1994.
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