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Research proves 'gender-bending' chemicals affect reproduction
Date:10/26/2010

ced ability to breed.

"Clearly this raises concerns about the implications on the future for wild fish populations living in UK rivers, but there's also much wider issues raised by these findings. Some of the effects seen in fish could occur in other animals too as hormone systems are quite similar across all vertebrates.

"EDCs have been tentatively linked with human health impacts too, including, falling sperm counts and cardio-vascular disease. These findings remain more controversial," Prof Tyler added. "In contrast, we have shown, unequivocally that environmental oestrogens alter sexual development in fish and now, through this study, that this can impact on their ability to breed".

Fish are seen as a key indicator of the impacts of chemicals such as EDCs because they soak them up in far larger quantities than humans ever would, concentrating any potential side-effects.

Their biology also means they are particularly prone to the feminising effects of EDCs because their sex is not decided until after birth meaning they are more susceptible to outside influence.

Prof Tyler concluded: "Fish still share many biological links with humans and the fact that their reproduction has the potential to be affected by EDCs is certainly a cause for concern. From a risk assessment point of view, these results are very significant."


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Contact: Daniel Williams
d.d.williams@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

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