Intersexed

This can’t be good:

More than 80% of the male bass fish in Washington’s major river are now exhibiting female traits such as egg production because of a “toxic stew” of pollutants, scientists and campaigners reported yesterday.

Intersex fish probably result from drugs, such as the contraceptive pill, and other chemicals being flushed into the water and have been found right across the US.

The Potomac Conservancy, which focuses on Washington DC’s river, called for new research to determine what was causing male smallmouth bass to carry immature eggs in their testes. “We have not been able to identify one particular chemical or one particular source,” said Vicki Blazer, a fish biologist with the US geological survey. “We are still trying to get a handle on what chemicals are important.”

But she said early evidence pointed to a mix of chemicals – commonly used at home as well as those used in large-scale farming operations – causing the deformities. The suspect chemicals mimic natural hormones and disrupt the endocrine system, with young fish being particularly susceptible.

The chemicals could include birth control pills and other drugs, toiletries especially those with fragrances, products such as tissues treated with antibacterial agents, or goods treated with flame retardants that find their way into waste water. However, Blazer also pointed to runoff from fertilisers and pesticides from agricultural areas.

About 5 million people live in the greater Washington area, and 90% of them get their drinking water from the Potomac.

There is evidence that the anomaly is not confined to the Potomac, one of the largest rivers on America’s Atlantic coast.

9 thoughts on “Intersexed

  1. “We are still trying to get a handle on what chemicals are important.” I love that. Of course those women and their contraceptives are messing everything up.
    Well, obviously the important thing to study is the fishes sexuality, not their level of mercury contamination.

  2. I could give a rat’s ass if the fish are transgendered or not. They ought to be concerned about cleaning up the mess that causes them to be gay in the first place.

  3. Minnesota had all those mutated frogs a while back. There was much finger-pointing at Green Giant, and whatever petro-product they were using to line cans.
    I’m glad fingers are being pointed at fragrance-bearing everything (allergies), but it’s odd that antibacterial tissues are being discussed, and not the much more common antibacterial soap.

  4. NOVA had something about frogs on (or was it Nature?) — Anyway, frogs are having the same problems, with the number of actual male frogs plummeting.

    Tell that to the majority male Congress!

  5. Many drugs are known to have unfortunate side effects on human sexual characteristics.

    Among men these can include gynecomastia, diminished semen production, erectile disfunction, loss of sexual appetite, and complete infertility.

    Cancer is not the only danger posed by the chemical soup we’ve got simmering around us.

  6. These fish and frogs are engaged in lifestyle choices.
    They should not be given any special rights.

  7. Well, I think that is great. If the government can’t protect the average american, I think that drinking poised war is a nice touch to screw up their genes. I see some offspring of the thieves and Liars who really don’t make any sense. There enablers are the old boys club protection of their drug contaminated children.

    I fell sorry for the actual workers in Washington, DC, the cleaners, the polishers, the guards and visitor escorts for the invaluable jobs that they do to keep the American Capital up to world class city status. These people have enormous pride in the capital. I have gone home to supper with people who maintain the capital. Say what you will these people are damned proud of what they do.

    I am just story that the drugs, pesticide runoff and other chemicals is going to kill them just the same as the evil.

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