Products,medicine may hurt environment

Published 6:33 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2007

By Staff
Fisheries group hears of accumulating effects
Staff Writer
Look at the bottom of the next bottle of water you drink. If it has a recycling symbol with the number 1 at the center, it could be killing you.
That’s because the plastic contains a chemical called pthalate esters, Barbara Grimes, a pollution-program coordinator with the Environmental Protection Agency, said Monday.
That and similar chemicals, including medicine such as Prozac and others, has been shown to cause alarming developmental deformities in both animals and humans, she said, speaking to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Habitat and Water Quality Committee.
In regard to North Carolina fisheries, Grimes said EDCs have been shown to both stimulate egg production and delay molting in crustaceans, such as the blue crab. In that species, these chemicals can specifically disrupt development in early life stages.
Grimes said that many of the chemicals being found in the environment originate from medicines and personal-care products that are thrown away. The emission of these substances is not regulated, and in accumulated quantities, could result in serious environmental impacts.
Committee member Wayne Mathis, with the Marine Fisheries Commission, said “the best that could be done now is pollution prevention.”