Endocrine Modulating Effects of Wastewater Treatment Effluents
This project set out to investigate the effects of exposure to wastewater treatment works (WwTW) effluent on sexual development in roach (Rutilus rutilus). Two life periods believed to be susceptible to sexual disruption (embryos/fry and adult-post-spawning roach) were exposed to two WwTW with differing chemical compositions for periods up to 300 days. Both effluents were oestrogenic to roach inducing vitellogenin (an oestrogen dependent [female] protein) and the magnitude of the responses paralleled the effluent content of steroid oestrogens. Exposure to the WwTW effluents during early life induced permanent disruptions in gonad duct development (a feminisation of the duct in males) but there was no evidence for alterations in the development of sex cells (no oocytes occurred in testis of male fish) for either life stage exposed. Exposure to WwTWs effluent during early life induced alterations in kidney development that were persistent, but there was no overt kidney damage.