Due to medicines and cosmetic goods we flush down the toilet, male fish are changing into hermaphrodites
Have you thought about where chemicals from cosmetic goods and medicines we normally use end up? The large part ends directly in the rivers.
Every day we wash with soap. We avoid sweating using deodorant. We use perfumes. Shampoos. Make-up removal solutions. Houses are cleaned with detergents. And last but not least we take medicines and contraceptive pills. But did you think about where all these chemical compounds from our bodies finally gets? The large part ends directly in rivers.
And it is in the rivers where it causes damage to all life. The fish are not an exception.
Evidence is a study from the UK
Experts at the University of Exeter presented the results to the public in July this year, which they have been able to track by exploring up to 50 different river flows across the UK. Their findings were striking. Up to 20% of all male rats in the rivers showed, in addition to the male, female characteristics.
This means that one out of five males had the characteristics of a hermaphrodite. The reason for this unusual transformation is chemicals and contraceptives that get out of our body directly into the sewer.
Since many waste water treatment plants are not capable of getting rid of these substances, in the form of treated water they go further into rivers where they have a negative impact on aquatic animals.
Fewer sperm, more eggs
Mentioned hygienic, detergent and contraceptive agents leave chemicals in the water what affects fish in the same way as human hormone estrogen.
Chemicals that affect fish cause the male to not only reduce sperm production but also trigger eggs production. Chemicals in products we commonly use thus have a significant negative effect on their reproduction.
Changes in Behavior
Although chemistry and contraception have an unfortunate impact on changes in the sex of the fish, other negatives are also caused by antidepressants. According to the study, substances that pass through the sewers into the rivers, unexpectedly affect the behavior of the fish.
Fish exposed to these substances show less aggressive behavior particularly in their response to predators.
Pollution is not great, but it is a risk
Drugs and detergent chemicals can be found in any water that is in any way affected by human activities. And although this amount of pollution is still 1 to 2 drops in the whole Olympic pool, there is still a risk to nature and the entire ecosystem. Untimately the evidence is already mentioned fish.
Current status is a great challenge for all of us. Not only for the producers of the aforementioned products, but also for the whole area of wastewater treatment, not excluding us all in Hydrotech.
Wastewater treatment plants must continue to improve in order to remove chemicals, including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, bacteria and viruses and also chemical substances used in personal care products. That is also why we will continue to work on improving our technologies.