Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Intersex fish in Alabama waterways

The environment is science.

Parade magazine on Sunday January 31, 2010 published an article describing mysterious intersex fish appearing in increasing numbers in rivers in the United States.

Included in the study was the Mobile River Basin which covers most of Alabama.

One third of male smallmouth bass and one fifth of male largemouth bass exhibit both male and female sex characteristics.

Photo credit Parade magazine

"Lab studies are under way to isolate potential causes," lead author Jo Ellen Hinck says.

Katherine Baer of the nonprofit group American Rivers says, "We see what's happening to the fish, and the water they're swimming in is the water we are drinking."

1 comment:

SteveO said...

Excerpt from my letter to a MN newspaper:
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (March 1)shows that the herbicide Atrazine can cause male-to-female sex changes in frogs at levels permitted by the EPA. Atrazine is persistent in the environment, and is the leading pesticide contaminant of well water, ground water, and surface water in the Midwest. It can be transported in the air and a half million pounds of it fall on the US each year as part of our rainfall. Atrazine has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor in many vertebrate species, and it has been banned in the European Union.

In the recent PNAS study, of the male frogs exposed to 2.5 parts per billion Atrazine, 10% were converted to females. The remaining males treated with Atrazine had lowered levels of testosterone, sperm count and fertility. In humans, atrazine exposure has been associated with low sperm count and impaired fertility.

Would you want your, or anyone's, child to ingest Atrazine?