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.