Emerging Contaminants and their Effects on Fish and Frogs

Science Center Objects

The endocrine system in animals produce hormones to regulate essential life processes, such as metabolism, tissue function, reproduction, and development. A large group of natural and synthetic chemicals are known to disrupt endocrine function.   Examples include plant hormones, plastic components, flame retardants, surfactants, fragrances, pesticides, etc. Endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are a global environmental problem in human-altered habitats and have been linked to reproductive and developmental abnormalities in animals, including fish and amphibians.

Sources of EDCs are widespread, but wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and agricultural practices (e.g. crop and livestock production) are both important sources to the environment. Although, EDCs have been documented extensively in natural systems, it is often unclear if their presence has demonstrable negative effects to fish and wildlife.

To begin to document exposure to and effects of EDCs on fish and wildlife in New Jersey streams, rivers and wetlands, USGS scientists are collaborating with state agencies on two different projects.

 

Point and Nonpoint Sources of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds and the Potential effects on Fish and Frogs in the New Jersey Pinelands

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Prevalence of Intersex in Fish Populations in New Jersey