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: Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Anti-depressants disrupt fish's brains

Jul 04, 2014

Drugs designed to ease the symptoms of mental health problems such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress can have major disruptive effects on aquatic animals' brains, say ...

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, ...

Females choose sexier friends to avoid harassment

Dec 07, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have observed a strategy for females to avoid unwanted male attention: choosing more attractive friends. Published today (7 December) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal So ...

Recommended for you

Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah

17 hours ago

A dry wash full of 112-million-year-old dinosaur tracks that include an ankylosaurus, dromaeosaurus and a menacing ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex, is set to open to the public this fall in Utah.

Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey

Aug 22, 2014

A new species of carnivorous crustacean has been identified, which roamed the seas 435 million years ago, grasping its prey with spiny limbs before devouring it. The fossil is described and details of its lifestyle are published ...

User comments : 0