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Title: Endocrine Disruption in the Marine Environment
Author: Y Allen
Author: Burnham CEFAS:
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1622, Representation ID: 560, Object ID: 2730
The Endocrine Disruption in the Marine Environment (EDMAR) research programme was initiated in 1998. The overall objectives of this three-year research programme were to investigate whether there is evidence for changes in the reproductive health of both marine fish and invertebrates due to endocrine disruption, and, if so, the possible causes. In summary, the EDMAR project has shown that oestrogenic effects at the biochemical, cellular or gross morphological levels are present in five species of estuarine fish from a range of industrialised (past and/or present) estuaries. Insufficient field data are yet available to indicate whether these changes have consequences for reproductive success, although experimental data from sand gobies suggests that this is a possibility. A range of natural and synthetic oestrogens is present in the estuaries where the most marked effects have been observed. Most of the activity is strongly adsorbed on sediment particles and much remains to be identified. However, it seems likely that flounder (and possibly other fish) obtain some oestrogenic exposure through feeding on benthic invertebrates. Whether crustaceans themselves are susceptible to oestrogenic exposure remains an open question; apparent changes of shore crab exoskeletons from oestrogen-contaminated locations are not conclusive and require further investigation. In comparison with oestrogenic effects, those caused by exposure to androgens appear to be weak or non-existent in fish (stickleback), although few data are yet available. However, weak androgenic activity is present in the vicinity of poorly treated sewage discharges and is composed exclusively of natural substances in the single sewage effluent subjected to the Toxicity Identification and Evaluation technique (TIE).
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: PollutionEstuariesEnvironmental protectionEndocrinological functionsPublic healthSewage treatmentEffluentsMorphologyMarine environmentBrackishwater environment
Extent: 70
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