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Study Finds Signs Of Hormonal Changes in Fish in 3 Pa. River Basins

The Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

The Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

Molly Daly Molly Daly
Molly attended Hallahan High School, LaSalle College, and Temple...
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By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A US Geological Survey study of fish in Pennsylvania’s three major river basins, the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Ohio, has found signs of contamination by hormone-mimicking compounds.

The fish were collected from sites throughout the state, including the Schuylkill River at Falls Bridge in Philadelphia.

Lead author Vicki Blazer says researchers were looking for signs of endocrine disruption.

“And we did find in bass, inter-sex: which is the presence of immature eggs in the testes of the male fish.”

Blazer says the chemicals responsible are part of a complex stew of human making.

“A lot of these emerging contaminants are things like pharmaceuticals, and personal care products, and herbicides that we’re using on our lawns that are coming about because of our lifestyle.”

As if happens, the young are especially at risk. Blazer hopes the findings will lead us to weigh the costs of convenience.

“I think that’s where people need to be concerned and think about the chemicals that they are using, particularly when they have children.”

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