27 Apr '15, 2pm

Common drug in wastewater is surprising reason behind gender-bending fish

Common drug in wastewater is surprising reason behind gender-bending fish

Move over birth control pills, there's a new drug in town making male fish bear eggs. Birth control pills and herbicides in water are known to wreak all kinds of havoc on the sexual development of aquatic life and possibly even our children , but now a researcher from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has found another culprit. The medicine metformin, commonly taken for Type II diabetes and found in freshwater worldwide, has been shown to cause intersex fish – males that can produce eggs. Male fish are not supposed to be able to produce eggs. Pharmaceuticals are increasingly found in wastewater and surface waters around the world, often due to incomplete metabolism in humans and subsequent excretion in human waste, resulting in discharge into surface waters by wastewater treatment plant effluent. Since intersex fish are especially common downstream from wastewater treatmen...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/common-drug-wastewa...

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