The West Virginia tributaries of the Potomac River are found to be polluted with sex-changing chemicals. These chemicals contaminating the water that runs through Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas is known to change the sexual characteristics of fish and other animals! – According to the U.S. Geological Survey.
According to the Survey, the fish that had both male and female characteristics are found with a range of chemicals that include — pesticides, flame retardants, and personal-care products. The rivers and streams in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia feed the Potomac.
Douglas Chambers, a USGS scientist who led the study said,
We analyzed samples of 30 smallmouth bass from six sites, including male and female fish without intersex and male fish with intersex.
All samples contained detectable levels of at least one known endocrine-disrupting compound, including samples from fish without intersex.
Chemicals that disrupt the endocrine affect the hormone systems of animals leading to birth defects and sexual abnormalities called intersex in species which range from frogs to alligators and perhaps humans as well.
According to an USGS report,
Antibiotics were detected in municipal wastewater, aquaculture, and poultry-processing effluent, with the highest number of antibiotics and the greatest concentrations found in municipal effluent.