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Posted Mon Apr 5 2010: from University of Gothenburg, via EurekAlert:
Medicine residues may threaten fish reproduction
Researchers at Umea University and the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have discovered that traces of many medicines can be found in fish that have been swimming in treated waste water. One such medicine, the hormone levonorgestrel, was found in higher concentrations in the blood of fish than in women who take the contraceptive pill. Elevated levels of this hormone can lead to infertility in fish.... The fish in the study were exposed to treated waste water from three sewage treatment works in Stockholm, Umea and Gothenburg. The study shows that levonorgestrel - which is found in many contraceptive pills, including the morning-after pill - can impact on the environment and constitutes a risk factor for the ability of fish to reproduce. Levonogestrel is designed to mimic the female sex hormone progesterone and is produced synthetically. A study from Germany showed very recently that less than a billionth of a gram of levonorgestrel per litre inhibited the reproduction of fish in aquarium-based trials. 
"We are finding these levels in treated waste water in Sweden," explains Jerker Fick at the Department of Chemistry at Umea University.
[Read more stories about: endocrine disruptor, water issues, falling fertility]
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'Doc Michael says:
Ah, so it's not overfishing, it's overmedicating.

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