Should We be Worried about the Potomac’s Inter-sex Fish?

In this morning’s sustainability news roundup, I noted that Washington Post coverage of a new report on Potomac River pollution left out discussion of the human health implications. Greater Washington gets its drinking water from the river, which makes the Potomac Conservancy‘s findings all the more alarming: The group concludes that chemical run off from farms, industrial operations and backyards is causing abnormal sexual development in fish. (The males grow eggs.) While the Post story only says the jury is still out on how these pollutants could impact humans, a reporter at The Washington Times dug a little deeper, interviewing John Peterson Myers, a biologist who founded the research group Environmental Health Sciences. Here’s a link to the story and here’s a quote that cuts to the crux:
“Water-treatment facilities are not yet required to screen for endocrine-disrupting contaminants, so they end up in our tap water,” he said. “We aren’t sure exactly what level of exposure causes harmful effects to human health, but if the intersex-fish phenomenon is any indication, there’s a critical need for regulatory agencies and decision makers to start addressing this issue,” he said.

About greendistrict

I'm Christine MacDonald, a journalist and the author of the book: "Green, Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone B

Posted on November 13, 2009, in Environment, health and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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