Posted by Genevieve Parker on ContraceptionBlog.com
First off, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Britt - so glad you're joining NRFC's blogging team!
Also, here's an interesting article about the phenomenon of transsexual fish in Boulder Creek, Colorado.
In 2004, David Norris reported that fish just below the Boulder, Colo., Wastewater Treatment Plant's outflow pipe were changing sex.
..... surprisingly low concentrations of treatment-plant effluent can change male fish into females.
The 2004 study showed that certain chemicals from pharmaceuticals and personal-care products made it through the Boulder Wastewater Treatment Plant and into Boulder Creek. Ninety percent of the white suckers swimming downstream of the plant were female. Upstream, there was an even split.
"What we see in the fish downstream is as if they are taking birth control pills," Norris said.
The female fish - both the transsexuals and the original girls - had smaller-than-average ovaries. The remaining males produced less sperm, showing the water effluent also has contraceptive effects, he said.
The chemicals are believed to come from excreted birth-control hormones, natural female hormones and detergents flushed down toilets and drains. In the ecosystem, they are known as endocrine disrupters, settling into cell receptors intended for hormones and garbling the body's chemical communications.
I find it interesting that the concept of altering fish physiology through birth control hormones is referred to as "garbling the body's chemical communications," yet as it pertains to human use, birth control is considered to be good & necessary women's healthcare.
So, hormone-ridden birth-control waste is affecting fish downstream, feminizing male fish & altering the physiology of female fish. You've got to wonder to what extend birth control waste gets filtered into our own water system and affects human beings who routinely use the water supply throughout the day, not to mention the harm that it is already doing to the ecosystem. Creepy...