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SCI/TECH: Hermaphroditic Fish Found Near Wastewater Treatment Plants

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posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 02:34 PM
Fish have been discovered in a Colorado river showing both male and female genitalia. Scientists are trying to figure out whether chemicals that disrupt hormones are the ones responsible for the strange deformities. Colorado biologist John Woodling is the one who discovered the deformed fish about two years ago near two wastewater treatment plants on the South Platte River and Boulder Creek.

Fish near treatment plants found with male-female tissue
``This is the first thing that I've seen as a scientist that really scared me,'' said Woodling, 58, a retired fisheries biologist with the Colorado Division of Wildlife now working with the University of Colorado.

Scientist haven't pinpointed which chemicals being emitted from the plant might be causing the deformities. However, chemicals known as endocrine disrupters which, mimic or disrupt hormones, especially estrogen, are a leading suspect.

Such chemicals are believed to come from excreted birth-control hormones, natural female hormones, and commonly used detergents that are flushed down toilets and drains.

``We're all concerned about it,'' said Barbara Biggs, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District's governmental officer, who added that the agency supports Woodling's research and other studies into the chemicals. ``We don't want to leap to any conclusions yet. There are a lot of estrogen sources in the environment, and this is going to take time.''

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The article continues by saying that including the city of Denver, several towns pump their drinking water from aquifiers that are connected to the South Platte. Those towns include

Brighton, Gilcrest, Platteville, the Morgan County Water Quality District and a host of small communities.
Althou it is not know if the chemicals are present in their supplies.

Related News Links:
Endocrine Disruption in Fish
Mutant fish prompt concern

[edit on 4-10-2004 by Banshee]


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