Study: Sunscreen sexually alters fish

Nov 15, 2005

Sunscreen residue washed off in showers and sinks is reportedly sexually altering some male fish off the Southern California coast.

A University of California-Riverside scientist told the Riverside Press-Enterprise a chemical used in sunscreen products is causing some male fish to develop ovary tissue and female egg proteins.

Dan Schlenk said oxybenzone -- which protects skin from ultraviolet light and mimics the chemical properties of estrogen -- survives the sewage-treatment process and settles on the ocean floor. It then is consumed by bottom-dwelling fish, such as sole and turbot.

Schlenk told the Press-Enterprise although the chemical is similar in structure to estrogen, the female sex hormone, for some undetermined reason natural estrogen apparently doesn't feminize male fish.

A professor of aquatic eco-toxicology, Schlenk presented his study during this week's 26th annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, in Baltimore.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

Jan 31, 2015

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

More male fish "feminized" by pollution on the Basque coast

Mar 28, 2014

The UPV/EHU's Cell Biology in Environmental Toxicology group has conducted research using thick-lipped grey mullet and has analysed specimens in six zones: Arriluze and Gernika in 2007 and 2008, and since then, Santurtzi, ...

Recommended for you

For many US teachers, the classroom is a lonely place

8 hours ago

One of the best ways to find out how teachers can improve their teaching is to ask them. The massive Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) did just that and the answers offer crucial insights for teachers, school ...

College rankings go under the microscope

18 hours ago

Parents, students and admissions officials have combed through college and university rankings for years. However, education researchers have largely ignored the controversial lists. That's about to change, according to a ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.