Chemicals, such as pesticides, hormones, and pharmaceuticals, enter our waterways every day in a multitude of ways, such as from the discharge of treated wastewater into rivers or old medicines being flushed down the toilet. Plastics can also release its chemical components, especially as the plastic begins to degrade. Many of these chemicals affect the endocrine system, the collection of glands that secrete hormones, which regulate many functions in humans and other organisms. Endocrine disruptors are relatively widespread or ubiquitous in our daily lives and scientists are now recognizing that these chemicals can influence fertility, especially in males.
Read the following two articles, which present a general view of how endocrine disruptors are influencing human and fish fertility. Describe your reaction to these articles. How should we deal with these concerns?
CNN Health. (2014 May 12). Common chemicals challenge sperm. Retrieved from http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/12/common-chemicals-challenge-sperm/
Alvarez, D. et al. (2009). Intersex fish: Endocrine disruption in smallmouth bass. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved from http://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/pdf/endocrine.pdf
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