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Posted Sat Feb 7 2009: from Reuters Health:
Testosterone-blocking chemicals found in wastewater
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Testosterone-inhibiting chemicals appear to be finding their way into UK rivers, possibly helping to "feminize" male fish -- and raising questions about what the effects on human health might be, according to researchers. In tests of treated sewage wastewater flowing into 51 UK rivers, the researchers found that almost all of the samples contained anti-androgen chemicals -- substances that block the action of the male sex hormone testosterone. What's more, when the researchers studied fish taken from the rivers, they found that exposure to anti-androgens seemed to be contributing to the feminization of some male fish - male fish with feminized ducts or germ cells. What this means for humans is not clear. But the findings raise the possibility of effects on male fertility, the investigators report in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Past studies have suggested that estrogen-disrupting pollutants -- from sources like industrial chemicals and birth-control pills -- may be leading to the feminization of some wild fish. Researchers have discovered river-dwelling male fish with female characteristics, including eggs in their testes. There have been doubts about whether the findings are relevant to men's fertility, however, since the presumed culprit chemicals in fish do not disrupt testosterone. But now these latest findings implicate anti-androgens in the feminization of fish as well.
[Read more stories about: hermaphroditic creatures, pharmwater, falling fertility]
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'Doc Michael says:
Researchers also note the feminized male fish swim with a certain suggestive wiggle...

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