News & AnalysisEcology

Zombie Endocrine Disruptors May Threaten Aquatic Life

Science  27 Sep 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6153, pp. 1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6153.1441

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Summary

Many U.S. ranchers implant cattle with the synthetic androgen trenbolone acetate to beef them up, but concerns have been raised that its metabolites leach into streams and ponds, disrupting endocrine systems of aquatic life. Sunlight was though to permanently degrade such metabolites but a study shows that the degradation products can revert at night, zombielike, back into the endocrine-disrupting metabolites. The same could be true of metabolites of other hormones that make their way into the environment.

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