Fishy Business

Something’s Spawning Gender-Bent Fish




A French study examining wild gudgeon fish that live directly downstream from a pharmaceutical drug manufacturing plant found that up to 80 percent of them exhibited both male and female traits in their sex organs. Such sex abnormalities indicate endocrine disruption that can foreshadow larger effects on fish populations because of reductions in breeding abilities. Upstream of the plant, only 5 percent of such intersex fish were detected.

Excreted pharmaceuticals can enter the environment from sewage treatment plants or the flushing of unwanted or old drugs down the toilet. They also can directly enter waterways via discharge into rivers and streams by drug manufacturing plants. The study is the first to link discharge from a drug plant, rather than a sewage plant, with physical and chemical changes in fish.

The inquiry was initiated after fishermen along the Dore River, in France, noticed swollen bellies and abnormal innards in the wild gudgeon fish. Study results were published in the journal Environmental International. More research is needed to identify the types and levels of specific drugs in the water at each site.


Source: EnvironmentalHealthNews.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

‘Sink’ Setback

Logging, drought and wildfires may be turning forests in Africa, Asia and Latin America into carbon emitters rather than absorbers.

Clear Gain

Scientists have developed a transparent, luminescent solar concentrator that looks like clear glass that could potentially supply two-fifths of U.S. energy needs.

Top Polluters

New research shows that a 100 fossil-fuel producers globally are responsible for 71 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions during the last 30 years.

Waxworm Wonders

Bacteria found in waxworms can digest plastic in mere weeks or months, far outperforming other plastic decomposition processes requiring 10 to 1,000 years.

Wind Harvest

The first floating wind farm in the UK, Hywind in Scotland, will have a 30-megawatt capacity to provide clean energy to 20,000 homes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags