: News

Filed Under:

Report: Chemicals From Everyday Products Causing Intersex Fish

Play associated audio

By Patrick Madden

Researchers at a local non-profit say hormone-disrupting chemicals are seeping into the Potomac River and creating a "toxic stew" for fish and other wildlife. Their names are exotic: biphenol, atrazine, estradiol. But these chemicals are found in everyday products: plastic drinking bottles, weed-killers, birth control pills. And, according to the Potomac Conservancy, when these and thousands of other chemicals drain into the Potomac through run-off and treated sewage, the resulting compounds can wreak havoc on a fish's hormonal and sexual development.

A federal study in April found 80 percent of small mouth bass in the Potomac had both male and female characteristics. Potomac Conservancy President Hedrick Belin says these intersex fish are "a canary in the coal mine."

"These new pollutants, they don't set our rivers on fire, they don't wash up on shore, we don't see them or smell them, but this intersex fish development is a clear signal that something is wrong," says Belin.

The report says its not clear what impact these chemicals have on humans. Ninety percent of the area's drinking water comes from the Potomac.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 29, 2015

You can hear classical Indian music or learn about the Arab influences of a traditional Spanish dance form. 

WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Twitter Faces Challenges As It tries To Balance Profitability, Popularity

The social network Twitter is popular with users, but that's not enough. It also needs to be profitable, and by its 140-character nature that's a challenge.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.