Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

The old saying, better living through chemistry has aways been mostly wrong; it should be - better dying and disablement through chemistry: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-09-chemical-exposure-linked-diabetes-obesity.html
Essentially:

"Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals during early development can have long-lasting, even permanent consequences," said Bourguignon. "The science is clear and it's time for policymakers to take this wealth of evidence into account as they develop legislation."
Hopefully, this mounting evidence will make a difference before more generations are ruined.

I don’t anything about the Endocrine Society and after reading this article, I don’t know anything I didn’t know before. It says there are dangerous chemicals in things and that they are dangerous. I knew that. There is formaldehyde in pears, but I still eat pears. Toxicity is related to quantity. So when I read an article that says “small amounts”, I’m left completely uninformed. I drank a small amount of water this morning, but if I had to much, I’d be dead. That’s about how useful this article is.

One way I believe people in America can cut some chemicals out is if we stop buying bottled water. Not only does selling water sound ridiculous, people leave those water bottles in their cars, take them out in heat at which point, so I’ve heard, chemicals in the plastic enter the water (and I think there was an article out about potential cancerous effects). Same concept about heating food in plastic containers in the microwave–I have switched to glass. In addition, all those water bottles people drink from are wasteful…but bottled water is ubiquitous in our society.

“Generations ruined?!” Really? Which generation, exactly, has been ruined? We seem to be living longer, healthier lives than any time in human history], so that’s quite a claim to make.
Obviously, we have to make rational efforts to identify and control substances which are hazardous at levels ordinarily encountered, but this kind of hyperbole quickly sends people into irrational panic. And while I agree that bottled water is a ridiculous concept in the developed world, where we have safe and healthy water sources nearly everywhere, there is not a convincing body of evidence that plastic containers pose a serious health risk (for example]). Facts and a reasoned response to environmental hazards are a lot more likely to lead to effective risk reduction than vague and exaggerated claims.

"Generations ruined?!" Really? Which generation, exactly, has been ruined? We seem to be living longer, healthier lives than any time in human history], so that's quite a claim to make. Obviously, we have to make rational efforts to identify and control substances which are hazardous at levels ordinarily encountered, but this kind of hyperbole quickly sends people into irrational panic. And while I agree that bottled water is a ridiculous concept in the developed world, where we have safe and healthy water sources nearly everywhere, there is not a convincing body of evidence that plastic containers pose a serious health risk (for example]). Facts and a reasoned response to environmental hazards are a lot more likely to lead to effective risk reduction than vague and exaggerated claims.
Good to know. I still won't use plastic bottles though because I find them wasteful.
"Generations ruined?!" Really? Which generation, exactly, has been ruined? We seem to be living longer, healthier lives than any time in human history], so that's quite a claim to make.
The Millennial generation.]
"Generations ruined?!" Really? Which generation, exactly, has been ruined? We seem to be living longer, healthier lives than any time in human history], so that's quite a claim to make.
The Millennial generation.] I quickly read the article. I don't see where it specifically says why the Millennial generation would be expected to gain more (?). Those same factors are present for the previous generation. In fact, I thought the millennial generation has been applauded for living in urban environments and choosing alternative modes of transportation to and from destinations, walking to the gym around the corner, and making food options (other than fast food) popular, among other lifestyle changes. Unlike the baby-boom generation, which is probably the least healthiest because they tend to live in suburbs where they get in their SUV and drive to work and sit all day, then by the time they drive home to the Mc Mansion in suburbia, its sleep time and repeat. Or at least that's the scene I see playing here in the Washington DC area.

I think its important to keep some perspective here. Progress always involves trying new things. New methods, new materials, new procedures etc. We are always striving to come up with new things that work better than what we used before. This is why we no longer have to live in caves, carry heavy loads on our backs, or scour the earth to collect just enough raw calories to survive another day.
Progress never occurs in a straight line though. The wheel made life easier but it also resulted in automobile deaths. Fire made food safer and more nutritious but it also burned down forests and homes. Every new development will have some unintended consequences including plastics and other chemicals, but through constant observation and improvement we can mitigate and manage those things the way we have created fire resistant materials and anti-lock breaks to reduce the harmful effects of fire and wheels.
Yes chemicals discovered or developed over the past 50 years can sometimes have unintended harmful effects. No surprise there, but without them we would be far worse off. There is nothing wrong in examining the possible harmful side effects of these new chemicals and changing how we use them if we need to but as always the harm if any must be weighed against the benefits and kept in proper perspective.

Oh for the love of. This is just more chemphobic fear mongering. And we have quite enough of that floating around already. There are just as many ‘natural’ toxic chemicals as there are man-made ones.

Wait…wait…, you DO know EVERYTHING is ‘chemicals’ don’t you. You, me and the chair you are sitting on are all chemicals. The universe is a collection of chemicals. It’s all about how they are put together and how much you have (the dose is the poison), you can kill yourself drinking water (I have seen it), but water is vital.

"Generations ruined?!" Really? Which generation, exactly, has been ruined? We seem to be living longer, healthier lives than any time in human history], so that's quite a claim to make. Obviously, we have to make rational efforts to identify and control substances which are hazardous at levels ordinarily encountered, but this kind of hyperbole quickly sends people into irrational panic. And while I agree that bottled water is a ridiculous concept in the developed world, where we have safe and healthy water sources nearly everywhere, there is not a convincing body of evidence that plastic containers pose a serious health risk (for example]). Facts and a reasoned response to environmental hazards are a lot more likely to lead to effective risk reduction than vague and exaggerated claims.
Good to know. I still won't use plastic bottles though because I find them wasteful. I avoid one time use containers for anything for that very reason.
"Generations ruined?!" Really? Which generation, exactly, has been ruined? We seem to be living longer, healthier lives than any time in human history], so that's quite a claim to make. Obviously, we have to make rational efforts to identify and control substances which are hazardous at levels ordinarily encountered, but this kind of hyperbole quickly sends people into irrational panic. And while I agree that bottled water is a ridiculous concept in the developed world, where we have safe and healthy water sources nearly everywhere, there is not a convincing body of evidence that plastic containers pose a serious health risk (for example]). Facts and a reasoned response to environmental hazards are a lot more likely to lead to effective risk reduction than vague and exaggerated claims.
Good to know. I still won't use plastic bottles though because I find them wasteful. I avoid one time use containers for anything for that very reason. Yeah I heard that freezing single use plastic containers and bottles causes the same thing. I try to use them as little as possible. That being said, I really think that it's more important than ever to eat natural foods instead of processed and junk foods. Who knows what goes into all that crap that comes from food processing factories. I read that some companies in China were making rice grains out of plastic and replacing a small amount of real rice with them to save money. Granted, health issues followed.
Yeah I heard that freezing single use plastic containers and bottles causes the same thing. I try to use them as little as possible. That being said, I really think that it's more important than ever to eat natural foods instead of processed and junk foods. Who knows what goes into all that crap that comes from food processing factories. I read that some companies in China were making rice grains out of plastic and replacing a small amount of real rice with them to save money. Granted, health issues followed.
Please tell me this is sarcasm. Because I've seen so much ignorant, misinformed and idiotic pseudoscientific drivel that I honestly can't tell anymore.
Yeah I heard that freezing single use plastic containers and bottles causes the same thing. I try to use them as little as possible. That being said, I really think that it's more important than ever to eat natural foods instead of processed and junk foods. Who knows what goes into all that crap that comes from food processing factories. I read that some companies in China were making rice grains out of plastic and replacing a small amount of real rice with them to save money. Granted, health issues followed.
Please tell me this is sarcasm. Because I've seen so much ignorant, misinformed and idiotic pseudoscientific drivel that I honestly can't tell anymore. I don't think so. I think he really believes this. Psst, don't mention microwaves and plastic.

I’m just now getting around to exploring the various posts and comments on CFI. This conversation really caught my attention. As I have a great interest in the presence of endocrine disruptors, the referenced article is helpful to me. I had, and have, misgivings about burdening the forum with this story. It is long and probably far to much to read in forum post, but I thought I’d go ahead and do it anyway. I think it is an extremely important topic, not only to esoteric science, but very much so to the folks like you and me that live in the changing environments we call home. The dangers of running across the Interstate highway at times of peak traffic are very obvious. The dangers, present and rapidly growing, of endocrine disruptors in our aquatic and terrestrial environments are no less dangerous, just much more greatly hidden and much more slowly evidenced.
I’m an old (scary to say that word, but it’s true), retired marine/fishery biologist and marine aquaculturist now working pretty much full time on a project to develop the technology for the controlled culture, spawning through juvenile, of Diadema sea urchins. It’s a long story. The short version is that 92 to 98 percent of all of this species of sea urchins, the long spined urchins of the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida were killed in 1983 in the greatest marine animal pandemic to ever occur.
We thought their populations would soon rebound but that was not the case. There are are still random small populations and individuals present in these areas but for all intents and purposes, they are ecologically extinct. This is very important to health of coral reefs in western tropical Atlantic because they are, or were, the keystone herbivores in this vast area, maintaining the balance between slow growing corals and fast growing macro algae. Their demise resulted in rapid and intense algal overgrowth of the coral reefs. This changed the ecology of the reefs and subsequent algal overgrowth of the reef prevented settlement and survival of juvenile corals, urchins, and many other species.
This is but one of the major problems that are changing the ecosystems of our oceans. In this case, however, if we can rear and place juvenile Diadema on our coral reefs and make up for the lack of natural recruitment of juveniles with hatchery bred juveniles, we can ecologically restore some coral reefs thus helping this keystone herbivore to recover and return to the reefs.
I’ve worked on development of this culture technology for almost 10 years now and in the summer of 2012, I and the Mote Marine Laboratory here in the Florida Keys were very close to completion of this project. We were at the point where we were rearing thousands of larvae through the larval stage and learning how to best provide the environments for high survival of the settled juveniles. Suddenly, at both locations, my little lab on Lower Matecumbe and 50 miles away, the Mote lab, the larvae would no longer form rudiments. At about day 24, the larvae form a tissue rudiment just above the gut that is actually the development of the early juvenile within the body of the larvae. The rudiment/juvenile coexist for another 20 days and and when the rudiment is mature and ready for metamorphosis into a benthic juvenile, the larvae moves from the plankton down to a coral reef or other suitable benthic environment, and attaches to the bottom. Metamorphosis happens and the new benthic, radially symmetrical, juvenile that formed from the pelagic, bilaterally symmetrical, larvae begins to feed on benthic algae and takes on the typical form and function of sea urchin.
Well if you have read this far, you are probably curious as to what this has to do with endocrine disrupting chemicals. I had a variety of problems with rearing Diadema through the larval stages from 2009 through 2012, many of these problems concerned the structure of the culture vessel and the micro algae food, however success in rearing them into the juvenile stage occurred in most rearing runs. Because of these vague problems, I was beginning to strongly suspect that some variable factor was interfering with larval development and began researching the possibility of endocrine disrupting chemicals in Florida Bay water.
Suddenly, in the summer of 2012, the larvae in my little lab and the larvae in larger project at the MOTE lab would not form rudiments. The larvae remained healthy and I could keep them in culture for over 90 days, but they, to an individual, would not form rudiments. The MOTE lab turned to other projects but I kept working on the problem. For three years I tried everything I could with water filtration (I used highly filtered water from Florida Bay, a variable problem until 2012) and micro algae feed with no change in larval lack of rudiment development. Now hormone activity is critical to changes that must occur during larval development into the juvenile.
The first rearing run in the spring 2015 resulted in not a single larva in either of two culture vessels forming a rudiment. Knowing that endocrine disruptors were most likely present in Florida Bay waters and trying without success to clean the water to the point that normal larval development could occur, and failing completely in every rearing run to recover the early and repetitive success with rudiment formation, I made arrangements for an RO machine to clean the tap water and obtained a source of a salt mix to make artificial sea water. On the first trial in the summer of 2015, I ran two culture vessels, one with the processed natural sea water, the other with artificial sea water. Not a single larvae in the natural sea water culture formed a rudiment. Almost every larvae in the artificial sea water culture formed a rudiment and developed to the point of metamorphosis. Although the culture failed at this point due to problems with micro algae culture, the outcome was obvious. The next run in the fall of 2015, both culture vessels were run with artificial sea water and almost all larvae in both vessels formed rudiments and developed to the point of metamorphosis. This time bacterial infection at the point of metamorphosis prevented survival of the early juveniles.
Diadema larvae are extremely difficult to rear. Only four labs, U of M, my personal lab, MOTE Laboratory, and the Florida Aquarium have been able to produce surviving juveniles, which is why so few attempts have been made on their culture. My next spawn and rearing run will take place in a couple of weeks, and now without the confusing and variable factor of the possible effects of endocrine disruptors in Florida Bay waters, I think I now have the understanding of the culture requirements needed to make the final breakthroughs, which hopefully should encourage labs with proper facilities and ability to get grants to take up the project.
Why I shared this topic here is to make the very important point that the problem of endocrine disruptors in our freshwater and marine environments is a great and growing problem. One that we are just beginning to learn the magnitude and immense threat that it poses. And we know very little about the kinds of endocrine disruptors that are present in our marine waters, when they are present, their concentrations, what organisms and at what stages of life they may affect, and how to combat this threat. I did publish an article on this problem as it affects my limited research. I will publish more soon when more information is developed.
Endocrine Disruptors: On finding invisible pollution in my back yard
CORAL January/February 2012, Volume 9, Number 1
Pages 30-40

I’m just now getting around to exploring the various posts and comments on CFI. This conversation really caught my attention. As I have a great interest in the presence of endocrine disruptors, the referenced article is helpful to me. I had, and have, misgivings about burdening the forum with this story. It is long and probably far to much to read in forum post, but I thought I’d go ahead and do it anyway. I think it is an extremely important topic, not only to esoteric science, but very much so to the folks like you and me that live in the changing environments we call home. The dangers of running across the Interstate highway at times of peak traffic are very obvious. The dangers, present and rapidly growing, of endocrine disruptors in our aquatic and terrestrial environments are no less dangerous, just much more greatly hidden and much more slowly evidenced. I’m an old (scary to say that word, but it’s true), retired marine/fishery biologist and marine aquaculturist now working pretty much full time on a project to develop the technology for the controlled culture, spawning through juvenile, of Diadema sea urchins. It’s a long story. The short version is that 92 to 98 percent of all of this species of sea urchins, the long spined urchins of the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida were killed in 1983 in the greatest marine animal pandemic to ever occur. We thought their populations would soon rebound but that was not the case. There are are still random small populations and individuals present in these areas but for all intents and purposes, they are ecologically extinct. This is very important to health of coral reefs in western tropical Atlantic because they are, or were, the keystone herbivores in this vast area, maintaining the balance between slow growing corals and fast growing macro algae. Their demise resulted in rapid and intense algal overgrowth of the coral reefs. This changed the ecology of the reefs and subsequent algal overgrowth of the reef prevented settlement and survival of juvenile corals, urchins, and many other species. This is but one of the major problems that are changing the ecosystems of our oceans. In this case, however, if we can rear and place juvenile Diadema on our coral reefs and make up for the lack of natural recruitment of juveniles with hatchery bred juveniles, we can ecologically restore some coral reefs thus helping this keystone herbivore to recover and return to the reefs. I’ve worked on development of this culture technology for almost 10 years now and in the summer of 2012, I and the Mote Marine Laboratory here in the Florida Keys were very close to completion of this project. We were at the point where we were rearing thousands of larvae through the larval stage and learning how to best provide the environments for high survival of the settled juveniles. Suddenly, at both locations, my little lab on Lower Matecumbe and 50 miles away, the Mote lab, the larvae would no longer form rudiments. At about day 24, the larvae form a tissue rudiment just above the gut that is actually the development of the early juvenile within the body of the larvae. The rudiment/juvenile coexist for another 20 days and and when the rudiment is mature and ready for metamorphosis into a benthic juvenile, the larvae moves from the plankton down to a coral reef or other suitable benthic environment, and attaches to the bottom. Metamorphosis happens and the new benthic, radially symmetrical, juvenile that formed from the pelagic, bilaterally symmetrical, larvae begins to feed on benthic algae and takes on the typical form and function of sea urchin. Well if you have read this far, you are probably curious as to what this has to do with endocrine disrupting chemicals. I had a variety of problems with rearing Diadema through the larval stages from 2009 through 2012, many of these problems concerned the structure of the culture vessel and the micro algae food, however success in rearing them into the juvenile stage occurred in most rearing runs. Because of these vague problems, I was beginning to strongly suspect that some variable factor was interfering with larval development and began researching the possibility of endocrine disrupting chemicals in Florida Bay water. Suddenly, in the summer of 2012, the larvae in my little lab and the larvae in larger project at the MOTE lab would not form rudiments. The larvae remained healthy and I could keep them in culture for over 90 days, but they, to an individual, would not form rudiments. The MOTE lab turned to other projects but I kept working on the problem. For three years I tried everything I could with water filtration (I used highly filtered water from Florida Bay, a variable problem until 2012) and micro algae feed with no change in larval lack of rudiment development. Now hormone activity is critical to changes that must occur during larval development into the juvenile. The first rearing run in the spring 2015 resulted in not a single larva in either of two culture vessels forming a rudiment. Knowing that endocrine disruptors were most likely present in Florida Bay waters and trying without success to clean the water to the point that normal larval development could occur, and failing completely in every rearing run to recover the early and repetitive success with rudiment formation, I made arrangements for an RO machine to clean the tap water and obtained a source of a salt mix to make artificial sea water. On the first trial in the summer of 2015, I ran two culture vessels, one with the processed natural sea water, the other with artificial sea water. Not a single larvae in the natural sea water culture formed a rudiment. Almost every larvae in the artificial sea water culture formed a rudiment and developed to the point of metamorphosis. Although the culture failed at this point due to problems with micro algae culture, the outcome was obvious. The next run in the fall of 2015, both culture vessels were run with artificial sea water and almost all larvae in both vessels formed rudiments and developed to the point of metamorphosis. This time bacterial infection at the point of metamorphosis prevented survival of the early juveniles. Diadema larvae are extremely difficult to rear. Only four labs, U of M, my personal lab, MOTE Laboratory, and the Florida Aquarium have been able to produce surviving juveniles, which is why so few attempts have been made on their culture. My next spawn and rearing run will take place in a couple of weeks, and now without the confusing and variable factor of the possible effects of endocrine disruptors in Florida Bay waters, I think I now have the understanding of the culture requirements needed to make the final breakthroughs, which hopefully should encourage labs with proper facilities and ability to get grants to take up the project. Why I shared this topic here is to make the very important point that the problem of endocrine disruptors in our freshwater and marine environments is a great and growing problem. One that we are just beginning to learn the magnitude and immense threat that it poses. And we know very little about the kinds of endocrine disruptors that are present in our marine waters, when they are present, their concentrations, what organisms and at what stages of life they may affect, and how to combat this threat. I did publish an article on this problem as it affects my limited research. I will publish more soon when more information is developed. Endocrine Disruptors: On finding invisible pollution in my back yard CORAL January/February 2012, Volume 9, Number 1 Pages 30-40
Food for thought, thanks.

I heard something funny on the radio recently. The answer to “Paper or plastic?” depends on whether you’re in a grocery checkout or sitting on the John.
L

For those that have on interest, a bit more information on EDs in aquatic environments.
An excerpt from my article:
“The effluent of modern civilization includes many natural and synthetic compounds with long chemical names. They come from a great many sources: hormones and hormone derivatives from human populations, household chemicals, waste pharmaceuticals and most anything that finds its way into waste water and land runoff with all its fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, oil residues, plastics, pet feces, and construction waste. Also included is the chemical breakdown of discarded plastics, waste and chemicals from marine industries, crude oils from spills, and the aquatic disposal of industrial waste in rivers as near as Florida, and as far away as the Amazon and the Mississippi. Contributions from the atmosphere are also present—air borne pollutants from our own industrial and electric plants, and even hurricane and trade winds dust from toxic wastelands in Africa.”
It is also very important to know that EDs are effective at concentrations of parts per million. parts per billion, and some at parts per trillion. Also that although the base elements of water quality analysis, Temperature Oxygen, salinity, pH, redox potential, basic nutrients, chlorophyll (a measure of micro algae) bacteria, and turbidity are routine and for the most part can be done by high school students, but measurement of extremely small concentrations of polluting chemicals are expensive and can only be done in sophisticated laboratories. It is obvious when there has been an oil spill, or a fish kill, or any gross insult of an aquatic environment, but when there has been a temporary or permanent presence of a minuscule amount of a chemical that prevents reproduction or kills larvae, that is not noticed until there is wonderment about why the fish, etc., are no longer present.
And consider what chemical pollution routinely accompanies normal river out flows, and in times of extreme flooding in the watersheds of the major rivers, chemicals from farms and chemicals leached from flooded urban environments that washes into nearshore and offshore marine environments. It is obvious, at least to me, that we are severely impacting if not destroying the productivity of our oceans with the effluent of our affluent modern civilization.
I found on the internet (it’s absolutely amazing what winds up on the internet) a short power point program that I gave to the Sanctuary water quality committee, last fall. It will give you a better look at the results of my Diadema culture work.
http://ocean.floridamarine.org/FKNMS_WQPP/products/wqpp/data/20150930/WQPP_Diadema_Moe_20150930.pdf
The thing that stimulated me to throw all this against the wall of the forum was the attitudes that sort of dismissed the problems of dangerous chemicals in our lives and environments as “much ado about nothing” and silly scientists “crying wolf”, and that’s just not so. As human populations increase and as our chemical effluents increase, these chemicals increasingly have the potential to detrimentally change and even destroy the environments that are the foundations of human life. Maybe not right now, but very soon. It is a global problem, not just local glitches that can be “easily” corrected. One thing is sure, if we ignore the specter of environmental chemical pollution, the ability of our Earth to support human civilization will be severely compromised.


http://ocean.floridamarine.org/FKNMS_WQPP/products/wqpp/data/20150930/WQPP_Diadema_Moe_20150930.pdf
The thing that stimulated me to throw all this against the wall of the forum was the attitudes that sort of dismissed the problems of dangerous chemicals in our lives and environments as “much ado about nothing” and silly scientists “crying wolf”, and that’s just not so. As human populations increase and as our chemical effluents increase, these chemicals increasingly have the potential to detrimentally change and even destroy the environments that are the foundations of human life. Maybe not right now, but very soon. It is a global problem, not just local glitches that can be “easily” corrected. One thing is sure, if we ignore the specter of environmental chemical pollution, the ability of our Earth to support human civilization will be severely compromised.

Articles (or should I say news) like that fill me with a visceral dread and the rerun of the realization
‘we really truly are going to destroy the entire “world” as we’ve known it for the past tens of hundreds of thousand years.’
And the only defense, on a personal level, is to embrace the spiritual up side, Earth can deal with it, in it’s own time.
We don’t deserve this place anyways so to hell with humanity and that over-rated egomaniacal brain of ours.
So we’re going to kick the evolutionary game back to basics and given a few thousand, tens of thousands and millions of years who knows what wonders will replace our disastrous reign as top-est and smartest, yet greediest, stupidest, predator ever.

Question Martin

Given the highly populated urban areas and extensive agriculture in South Florida, it is pretty much a certainty that endocrine disrupting chemicals are present at various times and at various concentrations in the near shore waters of the Florida Keys.
Are these chemicals not tested for by some agency or other? In your test with salted fresh water vs. sea water - were you able to test for these compounds. How difficult are tests to tease out various hormones and other possible agents such as pesticides, fertilizer presence? Thanks for sharing! Best wishes for your future work.

Good questions, CC, I can give you some answers, but not from the standpoint of an expert in the area of chemical testing for endocrine disrupting chemicals. I’m not a marine chemist, just a retired marine biologist.
“Are these chemicals not tested for by some agency or other?"
The answer is no, but in some instances, yes. There is no agency or program that routinely tests for chemicals that carry ED potential on a routine basis to learn if, when, and what chemicals may be the water. At present there is no information on the extent of the presence of such chemicals on a long term or even short term basis in Florida waters, and this is important… That I know of. The yes answer is that over the last decade or so a relatively small number of studies have been done on the presence and effects of various chemicals in South Florida waters.
In your test with salted fresh water vs. sea water - were you able to test for these compounds.
No, I do not have the facilities, capability, or the funding to test these waters for anything other than the standard water quality tests that can be done routinely. However, I have been working with the Florida Aquarium over the last year and they may be able to do some of this testing, don’t know yet.
How difficult are tests to tease out various hormones and other possible agents such as pesticides, fertilizer presence?
Not terribly difficult if you have the right equipment, facilities, and personnel. You need some very advanced equipment that can detect and measure molecular composition of very small quantities of many different elements and chemical structures. It is also an expensive proposition.
I have prepared a rather long power point program that I use to give talks on Florida Keys waters, giving one next month in fact. Unfortunately I can’t give you the slides and photos from the program here, but the following are some test excerpts from the various slides.
Some studies on the presence and effects of EDs in Florida Keys waters.
Ogden, et. al., 1974. Significant levels of DDT, arsenic , and methylmercury
were found in the tissues of Everglades fish, invertebrates and birds. Scott, et. al., 2002. The waters of the C-111 canal and north Florida Bay were tested for pesticides. The pesticide endosulfan (an endocrine disruptor) was found in 100% of the samples.
Gardinali, 2011. Peiro Gardinali (UM) found insect repellents, sunscreens, fragrances, plasticizers, human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, birth control hormones and many other drugs. Endocrine distuptors in this witch’s brew include Beta-Estradiol and Estrone, components of human estrogen hormones, and Bisphenol-A, a plasticizer, among others. Many microconstituent endocrine disruptors can survive existing waste water treatments and move through underground waters into freshwater and marine environments. They are present in the Miami River and in the Port Largo Canal on Key Largo.
Dr. Charles Manire of the Mote Marine Laboratory and colleagues studied the reproductive abnormalities in this small species of shark in 1998 through 2001. Because of their persistence in marine environments, organochlorine compounds from pesticides are persistent in marine environments and pose significant health risks to marine organisms.
Quantifiable levels of PCBs and 22 organochlorine pesticides were detected in livers of 95 bonnethead sharks from Apalachicola Bay, Tampa Bay, and Florida Bay.
Unfertilized ova were found 75 percent of pregnant females. Low sperm viability was also found.
Peter Frederick, an ecologist at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and his colleagues collected 160 white ibis nestlings from breeding colonies in south Florida in 2005, and split them into four groups, each composed of 20 males and 20 females. Once the birds were 90 days old, the researchers began adding methylmercury to their feed. Three of the groups were given low, medium or high doses of mercury based on levels ranging from 0.05–0.3 parts per million recorded in the wild, while the fourth group were given no mercury.
The team found that the levels of mercury built up in the birds over time, and that exposure resulted in roughly 13–15% more nests failing to produce any offspring. A high proportion of these failed nests were found to be male-male pairings.
From the published queen conch studies…
Extensive research by Robert Glazer, and Gabriel Delgado of the FWRI laboratory and eight other scientists resulted in a study that implicated zinc and possibly copper in the reproductive failure of near shore queen conch.
“This study supports the hypothesis that heavy metals may contribute to the reproductive failure of NS conchs. Zn and possibly Cu are elevated in the NS conch digestive gland, and Zn may be elevated in the testis. Given that Zn and Cu are known to reduce gastropod fecundity, the possibility that these same metals may also inhibit gametogenesis in both males and females merits further consideration."
Estradiol and ethynylestradiol (EE2) were found in measurable quantities both offshore and nearshore. This implies that sewage enters the offshore zone because EE2 is a synthetic estrogenic prescribed for birth control in humans.
Because a component of reproduction in marine gastropods appears to be neurologically controlled by the gonads, estrogen or estrogen-like compounds in the environment may have no effect on their reproduction. However, the estrogenic compounds that we found should be considered a warning flag for the overall health of the Florida Keys ecosystem. Many species other than marine gastropods, including fish and other invertebrates (e.g., scallops) do respond directly to exogenous sources of estrogen and phenolic compounds by producing Vtg, and are likely to be sensitive to these contaminants (Castro et al., 2007; Bannister et al., 2007; Iguchi et al., 2007; Köhler et al., 2007). This has implications for the healthy function of the Florida Keys marine ecosystem.
Many compounds with heavy metals are both toxic and have endocrine disrupting effects.
PERCENTAGE OF METAL EXCEEDANCES OF BACKGROUND COMPARISON LEVELS AT WATER CONSERVATION AREA
Monitoring Sites LOX8 LOX10 WCA2F1 CA215 CA33 CA315
Arsenic 33 25 100 100 17 100
Cadmium 10 10 10 10 0 0
Chromium 8 17 17 17 0 0
Copper 100 100 82 82 36 91
Lead 100 100 83 92 50 92
Mercury 100 100 100 100 100 100
Nickel 83 92 83 83 0 92
Silver 27 30 18 33 0 25
Zinc 92 67 69 50 0 92
Note: Monitoring Sites: LOX8 and LOX10 are in WCA-1/Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (LNWR); WCA2F1 and CA215 are in WCA-2A; and CA33 and CA315 are in WCA-3A
Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. 2002. Development of an Interpretive Tool for Assessment of Metal Enrichment in Florida Freshwater Sediment. Tallahassee Fl.
The canary in the coal mine of South Florida’s aquatic environment is falling off its perch.