Environmental Estrogens

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Lindsay Whittaker
Biology 111
April 15, 2009

Environmental Estrogens

We eat and are exposed to these deadly products every day. They are in the foods we eat and in our environment. These substances have been known to cause disease, cancers and different birth defects. What is this you ask? This synthetic substance can be found in the environment and when absorbed into a person's system, may function in a similar wary to estrogen, the generic term for female sex hormones (Environmental hormones and environmental estrogen 1998). These deadly chemicals are environmental estrogens. Environmental estrogens can be emitted from pollution, fertilizers, and many synthetic substances which are used by humans. Examples of these sources are pesticides such as DDT, endosulfan, dieldrin, methoxychlor, kepone, dicofol, toxaphene, and chordane, and pharmaceuticals such as drug estrogens and birth control pills. Over the last ten years, scientists and researchers have become very concerned about what environmental estrogens do to wildlife and human populations. There have been approximately 50 environmental estrogens defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). Environmental estrogens are harmful for the environment and to humans alike.

Wildlife, along with the human population is affected by environmental estrogens. Fish are affected by estrogens contained in DDT, a frequently used pesticide, and PCB’s, Polychlorinated Biphenyls. Scientific studies conducted on small animals such as frogs, produced bizarre defects such as additional extremities and the absence of eyes. (Cody 1998). Some species of frogs have also been noted to be becoming extinct because of these harmful chemicals filling the environment. A large amount of environmental estrogens exist in some of our nation’s rivers and lakes. The environmental estrogens are ingested by fish and other sea life. For example, in the Delaware River areas,...
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