One of the scientific papers at this week’s SETAC meeting presented details of a very intensive study of endocrine disrupting chemicals in Great Lakes fish. The paper was focused on methodology: results will not be available for some time, likely into 2014. However, the level of effort and the intensity of the research suggests that measurable quantities of EDCs will be found in the fish.
EDCs mimic hormones that are important to our reproductive system. A common outcome of exposure to EDCs is feminization of the wildlife species. Researchers have expected for some time that EDCs also cause feminization in male humans.
Release of the data is likely to cause an explosion of public interest in EDCs: where do they come from, why are they allowed, and what can be done to remove them from the ecosystem (nothing, though prevention measures will eventually lead to reduction of EDC concentrations in the environment). The fact that this study is focused on the Great lakes may make the issue that much closer to home for millions of Canadians and Americans. EDCs are found in a wide range of consumer and industrial products.
Note: This is advance notice of as yet unpublished research presented at the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry annual North American conference in Long Beach, CA, this week. That’s why GallonDaily is not providing our usual links to published sources for this series of articles.