Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Purification and dilution reduce risk of fish being injured by hormone-disrupting compounds

21.12.2006
In a dissertation at the Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, Maria Pettersson has examined whether purified wastewater from municipal purification plants and cellulose factories in Sweden contains hormone-disrupting compounds in such amounts that they are affecting fish. She has also studied how the levels of these compounds can be reduced in wastewater.

“The results indicate that the problem of hormone-disruption in fish is not as widespread in Sweden as in many other European countries. This is probably due to the fact that Swedish purification plants use purification techniques that reduce the amount of hormone-disrupting compounds, or that dilution of wastewater in recipient containers is greater than in many other countries. However, this is not to say that Swedish water is entirely free of the problem. We have seen hormone-disrupting effects occur locally in recipient containers with low-level dilution and the emission of insufficiently purified wastewater,” says Maria Pettersson.

The estrogen ethinylestradiol in contraceptive pills that women secrete via urine and feces is not always degraded in purification plants and can leak into ambient water with purified wastewater. Since there are many similarities between the hormone systems in humans and other vertebrates, fish, for example, can be affected by the estrogens that humans secrete. Moreover there are industrial chemicals that have been shown to impact the hormone system of fish, such as nonylphenol and bisphenol A. Emissions from cellulose factories have also been shown to contain compounds that can affect the hormone system of fish.

“We have been able to show that male fish that are exposed to municipal wastewater in certain cases begin to produce an egg yoke substance that normally only occurs in sexually mature females. We have also managed to detect the natural estrogens, the contraceptive pill estrogen ethinylestradiol, and the estrogen-like chemicals nonylphenol and bisphenol A in purified wastewater. The same estrogen substances were also found in gall fluid from fish that had been exposed to wastewater, which shows that fish take up the substances from water,” says Maria Pettersson.

By comparing various types of municipal purification plants, Maria Pettersson and her colleagues were able to determine that the amount of time spent in the biological purification stages is a key factor when it comes to reducing the amount of estrogen compounds in wastewater and that a sand filter contributes to a further reduction.

To investigate the occurrence of hormonal disturbances in wild fish, Maria Pettersson and her colleagues carried out a field study along the coast of the Baltic Sea. No clear hormonal effects could be observed in fish in the recipient containers studied, neither outside municipal purification works or outside cellulose factories.

“It’s probably a result of good dilution of the wastewater in the recipient containers. But the problems cannot be dismissed entirely since hormone-disrupting effects can still occur locally in recipient containers with a low level of dilution and emissions of insufficiently purified wastewater,” says Maria Pettersson.

Title of dissertation: Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Effluent Waters­Chemical Analysis to Evaluate Exposure of Fish

Maria Erlandsson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eks.su.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>