[Pharmwaste] two articles - genital malformations in Montana roadkill; feminized male bass

Tenace, Laurie Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Tue Sep 15 08:35:01 EDT 2009

The first article is a little off topic. Go to the web site for more - Laurie

Divining the Secret of Deformed Roadkill
Judy Hoy has tracked genital malformations among Montana's roadkill for
years. She's been reporting disturbing trends for years, but few are paying
her heed.

Male bass in many US rivers feminized, study finds

WASHINGTON -- Government scientists figure that one out of five male black
bass in American river basins have egg cells growing inside their sexual
organs, a sign of how widespread fish feminizing has become. 

The findings come from the U.S. Geological Survey in its first comprehensive
examination of intersex fish in America, a problem linked to women's birth
control pills and other hormone treatments that seep into rivers. Sporadic
reports of feminized fish have been reported for a few years. 

The agency looked at past data from nine river basins - covering about
two-thirds of the country - and found that about 6 percent of the nearly
1,500 male fish had a bit of female in them. The study looked at 16 different
species, with most not affected. 

But the fish most feminized are two of the most sought-after freshwater
sportfish: the largemouth and smallmouth, which are part of the black bass
family. Those two species were also the most examined with nearly 500 black
bass tallied. 

"It's widespread," said USGS biologist Jo Ellen Hinck. She is the lead author
of the study, published online this month in Aquatic Toxicology. She said 44
percent of the sites where black bass were tested had at least one male with
egg cells growing inside. 

Past studies have linked the problem to endocrine-disrupting hormones, such
as estrogen from women's medicines. While the fish can still reproduce,
studies have shown they don't reproduce as well, Hinck said. 

Intersex fish are also seen as a general warning about what some experts see
as a wider problem of endocrine disruptors in the environment. 

The egg cells growing in the male fish's gonads can only be seen with a
microscope after the fish has been caught and dissected. 

The study used data from 1995 to 2004, when the government stopped funding
the research. The only river basin examined that didn't show any problems was
Alaska's Yukon River Basin. 

The Southeast, especially the Pee Dee River Basin in North and South
Carolina, had the highest rates of feminization. In Bucksport, S.C., 10 of 11
largemouth bass examined were intersex. In parts of the Mississippi River in
Minnesota and the Yampa River in Colorado, 70 percent of the smallmouth bass
had female signs. 

Hinck said black bass seem to be more prone to the problem, but researchers
don't know why. She also found one common carp that was female with bits of
male testes growing inside. 

Laurie Tenace
Environmental Specialist
Waste Reduction Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Rd., MS 4555
Tallahassee FL 32399-2400
P: 850.245.8759
F: 850.245.8811
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us 

Mercury: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/mercury/default.htm 

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