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Revision as of 02:49, 27 September 2012


How strong is the effect of steroid hormones onto aquatic organisms? There needs to be a differentiation between marine ecological systems and freshwater ecological systems. There are a lot of references, that indicate a strong influence on aquatic organisms. In the baltic sea serious concentrations above the no-effect level have been detected. The concentration of vitellogenin (a protein indicating hormone pollution) has been significantly increased and substances such as estrogens could be detected. Many fish species spawn in coastal waters, where the highest concentrations of hormones could be detected. The further away the input sources of hormones are, the smaller are the effects. In rivers the problem with hormones is far bigger. Feminization could be shown for several fish species in rivers. But effect could also been shown for crustaceans and microorganisms.

Do you think that commonly used methods for wastewater treatment are sufficient for elimination of hormones? The currently used methods are definitely not sufficient for elimination, effects on fish species constantly increase.

Do you think that alternative methods could possibly solve this problem? In the end it is always about the costs. If alternative systems can be produced less cost-intensive, chances are they will find their way into commercial applications. And of coure marine systems are very fragile. No one can predict the consequences of a collapsing big marine ecological system. Even the costs and the influence on the local economy can hardly be predicted. Even higher costs and an unfavorable cost-benefit evaluation of an alternative system for waste water treatment may be acceptable to prevent dramatic ecological problems.

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