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Endocrine disruptors found in SA water

A 200-page report on Endocrine Disrupting compounds (EDCs) released by the UN earlier this week has highlighted environmental and health risks facing many countries including South Africa.

The compounds have the potential to cause wide ranging health complications including breast cancer in women, prostate cancer, attention deficit and hyperactivity in children, as well as thyroid cancer.

According to Professor Edmund Pool, University of the Western Cape expert on EDCs, sewage treatment plants do not remove all the compounds.

“All the sewage treatment plants I’ve tested in the Western Cape were found to remove 80% of hormones, the untreated 20% has been shown to be able to change the morphology and sex ratios of some animals like fishes, frogs, and crabs,” he told News24.

Pool said EDCs eventually make its way back into the ecosystem when “treated” water is discharged into the sea and rivers. Threats to humans emerge when the compounds enter the food chain through vegetables (and often fish) via irrigation with toxic water.

“EDCs eventually get lodged in humans’ body tissues, more concerning is that it can sit in the reproductive organs where it is carried over to offspring,” Pool said.

Source: News 24

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