Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Sex Changing Hormones Present In Waikato River

3 April 2002

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said research published by Auckland University in 1998 showed that hormone disrupting chemicals being discharged into the Waikato River were changing the sex of fish.

The PhD research found that effluent discharges into the Waikato from the Kinleith Mill contained compounds acting as endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Over four per cent of fish from the site exposed to the highest concentration of effluent were found to contain both male and female sex organs.

The study noted both the masculinisation of female fish and the feminisation of male fish as well as clear evidence of female goldfish failing to release eggs, with massive inflammation of ovarian tissues.

"While the chemicals discharged from the Kinleith mill are not estrogen, but other chemicals which mimic it, it is not true to say 'Water from the Waikato is free of gender-altering chemicals' as has been reported in the media."

Estrogen from the contraceptive pill is just one of a large group of chemicals which disrupt the hormone system and can affect reproductive health. Others include chlorinated pesticides like DDT, tributyl tin used in anti-fouling of boats, and PCBs. They tend to bioaccumulate, so that even very tiny quantities over time can accumulate to a significant dose.

"Reports from the UK that half of all male fish in some rivers had developed female organs is important not because we will have the same concentrations here, but because estrogen from sewage will be adding to the other endocrine disrupting effects from similar chemicals already in the river by the time it reaches Hamilton. A recent UK study has also linked this hormone contamination of drinking water to a drop in male fertility."

Ms Fitzsimons said reports that some female hormones could feminise fish at one part per billion, which could be undetectable, made effects on fish an important early warning for humans. That is why the Greens called last week for ecological monitoring in the Waikato.

"In May water from the Waikato River will be pumped into Auckland's permanent water supply. Given that there is no screening for hormonal contamination of drinking water, and no requirement for hormones to be removed, Aucklanders can have no meaningful assurances that this water is free of these hormones.

"However there is no reason for Aucklanders to drink the Waikato River water at all. The Greens have been saying for years that water in the high quality forested catchments of the Waitakeres and Hunuas can supply all such uses and the Waikato should be used only for a few large industries near the pipeline and for emergency supply to Auckland," she said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news