Wastewater Chemicals Change Gender of Fish

BOULDER, Colo., June 22 (UPI) — Scientists say chemical endocrines remaining in water after treatment at some U.S. wastewater plants can change the gender of fish.

Researchers said male fish are still being feminized by chemicals, such as the pharmaceutical ethinylestradiol, passing through the Boulder, Colo., Wastewater Treatment Plant and into Boulder Creek, though it’s taking longer to happen since a plant upgrade to an activated sludge process.


The scientists, led by Professor David Norris of the University of Colorado-Boulder, said the chemicals are endocrine disrupters that mimic estrogen and can disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) system of both animals and humans.

“The fish are a wake-up call,” Norris said. “Our bodies and those of the much more sensitive human fetus are being exposed every day to a variety of chemicals that are capable of altering not only our development and physiology, but that of future generations as well.”

The study’s findings are to be presented Sunday in San Diego during The Endocrine Society’s 92nd annual meeting.

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Categorized | Chemicals, Fish, Other
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