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31 Jul

If This Happens to Fish, What Happens to Us?

95% of San Francisco area wastewater contains chemicals known to disrupt hormones. Marine scientists have already found male fish developing eggs in their reproductive organs. If this is happening to fish, what’s happening to humans?

The chemicals are common ingredients in household cleaners, personal care products, and cosmetics. Researchers from the Environmental Working Group postulate that fertility problems, birth defects and sexual dysfunction may be related to the frequent exposure to chemicals in our household products – and I think they’re right.

Some helpful tips from EWG:

– Avoid products with fragrances

– Avoid plastic utensils, containers and cookware (go with glass, steel and cast iron)

– Avoid antibacterial products and those that claim to kill everything they come into contact with (soap and water work just fine)

To reduce your exposure to chemicals, read these related articles:

Natural skin care: turn your shower into a spa, without the chemicals!

The complete guide: heap, simple, earth- and body-friendly household cleaners!

Photo: Flickr (CC)

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Sara wrote on July 31st, 2007
  2. Wow, this is certainly alarming. It begs the question of when the chemicals in for instance dryer sheets will be safe for the environment and your body.

    paul wrote on July 31st, 2007
  3. The repercussions of our actions in the environment, and what they mean for all the living things around us are undeniable. I wish emergencies like this would warrant “disaster area” recognition by our government. What else will bring a remedy??

    terry wrote on July 31st, 2007
  4. Why didn’t you mention the birth control pill?

    BillyHW wrote on July 31st, 2007
  5. BillyHW,
    Mention the birth control pill for what reason exactly?

    Nathan wrote on July 31st, 2007
  6. I believe birth control is a very good thing. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation at hand.

    terry wrote on July 31st, 2007
  7. What Billy might be referring to is the pidgeon overpopulation solution in Los Angeles:,0,668778.story?track=mostviewed-splashpage

    Yes, folks, we here in Lala land are feeding our pidgeons birth control. But remember, the safest form of pidgeon population control is still bird abstinence.

    Bradford wrote on July 31st, 2007
  8. Well, besides certain chemicals, hormones from HRT and birth control are affecting our fish.

    Crystal wrote on July 31st, 2007
  9. I suspect – but do not know without doing some research – that the amount of hormone therapy we give to our livestock probably surpasses what women take. The pill was pretty strong when it first came out, but in successive decades it’s gotten progressively weaker (can you imagine taking the pill in the 60s? Whew! My aunts have some stories!)

    Sara wrote on July 31st, 2007
  10. hmmmm… lets see…. WE’RE NOT FISH JACKASS, so it’s unknown. or for another point of view, humans test on animals that are like humans. fish are not one of these animals. i guess you’re not even close to being a scientist or keeping up with our policies are you? ass

    jon wrote on July 31st, 2007
  11. Jon: no deriding/name-calling. Do it again and you’re outta here.

    Sara wrote on July 31st, 2007
  12. The point here is to limit your exposure to chemicals as much as possible. The tips I recommend are beneficial. (Along with stress management and a diet of organic, wild and free-range foods, which are both critical factors in health).

    Mark wrote on July 31st, 2007
  13. Synthetic estrogens in birth control pill causing female characteristics in male fish:

    I’m worried about the effect in humans, especially young children.

    BillyHW wrote on July 31st, 2007
  14. The pill was pretty strong when it first came out, but in successive decades it’s gotten progressively weaker

    But there are way more women taking it now worldwide than in the 60s.

    I think we should be worried about synthetic hormones from all possible sources getting into our water supply.

    BillyHW wrote on July 31st, 2007
  15. Yes, and we should watch out for flouride, which was invented by the communists to reduce our libidos.

    But seriously, it depends on your definition of synthetic hormones. Is horse urine synthetic? Because that’s where your estrogen comes from (the estrogen in your pills, not in your body, your body’s estrogen comes from….your body).

    McFly wrote on July 31st, 2007
  16. Oh, great point Billy! You’re right.

    A good chemist, I suppose, will tell you there is really no difference between synthetic/natural. The question is what is healthy and what is not.

    Sara wrote on July 31st, 2007
  17. High levels of estrogen of any kind (synthetic, bio-identical, or our own production) is dangerous. This is why the one size fits all (synthetic HRT) is so absurd.

    Crystal wrote on July 31st, 2007
  18. McFly, why would the communists want us to have weak libidos? Glad there’s no fluoride in my water.

    Crystal wrote on July 31st, 2007
  19. I think we all need to come up with an emoticon that denotes sarcasm :)

    Sara wrote on July 31st, 2007
  20. The other issue with birth control pills are the long-term health effects on the women who take these artificial hormones. There are probably multiple factors that explain why cancers of the breast and cervix are rare among Japanese women. One of those factors may be lower natural and artificial hormone levels. Few Japanese women take birth control pills.

    Sonagi wrote on August 1st, 2007
  21. Nothing better than the Chemical Corn Exchange. “I traded three ears of corn for three beakers of chemicals.”

    That is what the Firesign Theater stated on “We’re All Bozos on this Bus.”

    Chemicals for Better Living!

    Bathe everyday in MEK Methyl Ethyl Ketone! Sadly, when I was young this now banned chemical/solvent was used to wash the cement sealing goop off our teenage bodies. While the fumes could get you high, as the solvent melted your skin, it is, perhaps, the brain cell damage that does you in.

    Oxybeles wrote on August 1st, 2007
  22. Vinegar is a safe and natural way to do cleaning with, it does the job!

    Donna wrote on August 1st, 2007
  23. Corn…they always artificially find some purpose for it. Because why let the free market and lack of demand actually run anything? 😉

    Sara wrote on August 1st, 2007
  24. Consider this: we share about 60% of our genes with mosquitoes, and even more with fish. Only about 1% separates us from chimps. Many hormones, and neuropeptides are pretty basic building blocks that we share with most evolved living species, and this includes mosquitoes and bony fish. So, the fact that these malformation are happening in fish does not bode well…

    Frank Nova wrote on November 7th, 2007

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