Birth Control Hormones Could Be Causing Infertility In Fish


The hormones in birth control and a common plastic component may impact the fertility of fish, according to a new government report.

“These adverse outcomes may have negative impacts on populations of fish inhabiting contaminated aquatic environments,” the study authors wrote.

This isn’t the first time human birth control hormones have been shown to affect aquatic systems. However, the “transgenerational” consequences of the chemicals have not been known until now. In a 2010 study by UCSF, researchers found that waste from livestock, soy and dairy foods as well as other hormones also contribute more estrogen to drinking water.

Scientists are also looking into the possibility of chemicals causing male bass to changes into females. The chemicals they are currently exploring, know as bisphenol A and 17a-ethinylestradiol, were exposed to fish in high concentrations during a lab experiment. They concentrated more specifically on 17a-ethinylestradiol, since up to 68 percent of it is excreted by the person taking it.

According to the Washington Post, the “gender-bending” of fish was found in 50 to 100 percent of the bass caught in Potomac River.

“We know intersex is occurring, we don’t understand exactly how that’s occurring,” Don Tillitt, study co-author and scientist at the USGS’s Columbia Environmental Research Center, told the Post. “We know that certain endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause intersex from exposure during development or the birth cycle.”

Going forward, scientists noted that they will investigate into the transgenerational affects of certain compounds on fish.

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports and conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Source: The Blaze


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