Tuesday, December 21, 2004

 

Male Fish Growing Eggs Found in Potomac

SHARPSBURG, Md. Dec 21, 2004 — Male fish that are growing eggs have been found in the Potomac River near Sharpsburg, a sign that a little-understood type of pollution is spreading downstream from West Virginia, a federal scientist says.

The so-called intersex abnormality may be caused by pollutants from sewage plants, feedlots and factories that can interfere with animals' hormone systems, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Nine male smallmouth bass taken from the Potomac near Sharpsburg, about 60 miles upstream from Washington, were found to have developed eggs inside their sex organs, said Vicki S. Blazer, a scientist overseeing the research for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Authorities say the problems are likely related to a class of pollutants called endocrine disruptors, which short-circuit animals' natural systems of hormone chemical messages.
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