Friday, October 26, 2007

Not to Worry - We're Bigger Than Fish

From the Fort Morgan Times:

"The South Platte River is 90 percent wastewater below the city of Denver 90 percent of the year, according to Colorado University Integrative Physiology Professor David Norris.

And although wastewater treatment plants don’t dump toxic water back into rivers and streams, the effluent contains chemicals that may have temporary or permanent effects on living organisms, including humans.

Norris said humans have created about 80,000 to 100,000 chemicals that never existed before on the earth. And although many have not been extensively studied, scientists have found that estrogenic chemicals added to the environment can lead to drastic abnormalities, including sex change.

Norris said estrogenic chemicals come from pesticides, fertilizers, livestock drugs, plastics, latex paints, detergents and cosmetics, among many others. Many of these chemicals end up in wastewater treatment plants, which pump the water back into rivers and streams.

“Basically, we find ourselves living in a sea of chemicals,” he said.


Norris said that although he conducted the experiments with fish, all vertebrates have the same fundamental systems and hormones.

“Anything I say for fish is true for humans, and just about anything I say for humans is also true for fish,” he said.

Norris said that although the chemicals in effluent can have the same effects on people and fish, humans are at less risk because they are bigger than the fish and are not constantly immersed in chemical-tainted water."

Are you getting comfortable with the words "sewage effluent'? It's what is going into Grasmere - Washington Park and Ferril - City Park Lakes, to say nothing of watering our parks and fields.

But most of it goes back into the Platte. Read first person account here.


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