Estrogen Research Paper

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While the hazards of excreting toxic chemicals into our world’s ecosystem through municipal sewer systems are widely known, most people are not aware of the dangers of one silent source: estrogen. After a seven-year effort, lead researcher Karen Kidd and her primary team of biologists found that even trace amounts of estrogen present in these wastewater systems can have disastrous impacts on wild fish populations as it completely diminishes their capacity to reproduce and produce viable offspring. Normally, women excrete miniscule amounts of estrogen whether or not they are taking birth control pills; this small stressor on land has tremendous consequences under water. For years, this unlikely source has been the reason behind the near extinction …show more content…

A study on Sockeye salmon suggests that multiple body systems shut down in response to human sex hormones. The salmon were “gonadectomized” so their response to estrogen was not purely based on the reproductive system, but rather the entire body cavity as a whole. According to J.R. McBride of the Journal Of Fisheries Board, he states that his team’s experiment consisted of male salmon receiving 11-ketoestosterone, a endogenous androgenic human sex hormone, 17α-methyltestosterone, or cortisol, for four or seven weeks. These trace amounts of this male sex hormone led to the thickening of multiple membranes, “a marked atrophy of the stomach, and a degeneration in the liver and kidney” (McBride). This suggests that not only do female sex hormones have a devastating impact on male fish, but so do androgenic ones. The salmon became less territorial, sexually matured later, and weren’t able to mate as efficiently and multiply. This devastating turn on male fish decreases their fitness by a large percent. On the other hand, female salmon in the study were given estradiol, estradiol cypionate, or cortisol for 8 weeks and according to the researches, the effects on these females were on a much smaller scale than what was seen in the males. Estrogen administration in the females evoked similar, however much weaker, responses in the organs. For example, females exhibited the characteristics of a “hyperactive organ, which probably reflects estrogen-induced vitellogenesis”, or yolk formation (McBride). Essentially through this research study, we can conclude that any hormone coming from humans, weather male or female all have negative consequences for fish species. All in all, it is becoming clearer with every study that the wastewater systems need to

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