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Posted Wed Aug 12 2009: from University of Minnesota, via EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
University of Minnesota researchers discover high levels of estrogens in some industrial wastewater
In a groundbreaking study, civil engineering researchers in the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology have discovered that certain industries may be a significant source of plant-based estrogens, called phytoestrogens, in surface water. They also revealed that some of these phytoestrogens can be removed through standard wastewater treatment, but in some cases, the compounds remain at levels that may be damaging to fish.... They found very high concentrations of these hormone-mimicking phytoestrogens -- up to 250 times higher than the level at which feminization of fish has been seen in other research -- in the wastewater discharged from eight industrial sites, including biodiesel plants, a soy milk factory, a barbecue meat processing facility and a dairy. They also detected high concentrations of phytoestrogens in the water discharged by some municipal wastewater treatment plants. The good news is that the researchers revealed that phytoestrogens can be removed from water as it goes through standard treatment. In fact, they saw more than 90 percent removal of these compounds from the water. Unfortunately, sometimes 99 percent removal is needed to reach levels that are considered harmless to fish.
[Read more stories about: hermaphroditic creatures, endocrine disruptor, toxic water, pharmwater]

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