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Study links water pollution with declining male fertility
Date:1/18/2009

years. The new research findings illustrate the complexities in unravelling chemical causation of adverse health effects in wildlife populations and re-open the possibility of a human wildlife connection in which effects seen in wild fish and in humans are caused by similar combinations of chemicals. We have identified a new group of chemicals in our study on fish, but do not know where they are coming from. A principal aim of our work is now to identify the source of these pollutants and work with regulators and relevant industry to test the effects of a mixture of these chemicals and the already known environmental estrogens and help protect environmental health.

Senior author Professor Charles Tyler of the University of Exeter said: Our research shows that a much wider range of chemicals than we previously thought is leading to hormone disruption in fish. This means that the pollutants causing these problems are likely to be coming from a wide variety of sources. Our findings also strengthen the argument for the cocktail of chemicals in our water leading to hormone disruption in fish, and contributing to the rise in male reproductive problems. There are likely to be many reasons behind the rise in male fertility problems in humans, but these findings could reveal one, previously unknown, factor.

Bob Burn, Principal Statistician in the Statistical Services Centre at the University of Reading, said: State-of- the- art statistical hierarchical modelling has allowed us to explore the complex associations between the exposure and potential effects seen in over 1000 fish sampled from 30 rivers in various parts of England.

The research took more than three years to complete and was conducted by the University of Exeter, Brunel University, University of Reading and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Statistical modelling was supported by Beyond the Basics Ltd.

The research team is now focusing on identifying the source of a
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Contact: Sarah Hoyle
s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
44-013-922-62062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

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