How about a little hormone disruption with your drinking water?

by ep3 on Thursday, September 02. 2010

It's awfully hot here, especially for October. Can I get you a nice, cool glass of water?

Would you like some estrogen with that? A UK study of two waterways and the sediment they rest on reveals that estrogenic compounds contained in effluent from wastewater treatment plants migrate into the sediment, and could from there migrate into groundwater. That means it may end up in drinking water and in water for crop irrigation.

If you're wondering how the estrogen-like compounds got there, look no further than your medicine cabinet. Endocrine disruptors (EDCs) are in products that many of us use every day, including products that get flushed down the drain constantly. There are EDCs in anti-bacterial soap, in some toothpaste, in cosmetics, in laundry detergent and in vinyl shower curtains. EDCs are also often a product of industrial manufacture.

Most endocrine disrupting chemicals are unregulated, and wastewater treatment plants -- which deal quite effectively with organic waste and solids -- were not designed to filter out hormone-mimicking compounds. You can limit your own household's exposure to EDCs, but if they're in the drinking water. . . well, maybe then the government will finally do something about it.

Tags:  General

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