Endocrine disruptors

Endocrine-active substances are compounds which influence regular hormone activity. If the resulting effects are negative, these substances are also called Endocrine Disruptors (ED). The hormone systems of humans and fish are quite similar: As a result, substances that are used for therapeutical purposes or for hormonal contraception are also perceivable in the hormonal system of fish which have made their way into (sewage) water. Additionally, there exists a series of other hormonally-active environmental chemicals which are used in products such as cleaners, pesticides, dioxins, plasticisers, etc. Because it has been observed that the reproduction of fish in our waters may be being disrupted, the possible influence of ED must also be taken into account. For this reason, we are conducting field and laboratory studies in order to detect possible correlations.

Further information
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF): NRP 50 "Endocrine Disruptors: Relevance to Humans, Animals and Ecosystems"

Burkhardt-Holm, P., Segner, H., Burki, R., Peter, A., Schubert, S., Suter, M. J. F., & Borsuk, M. E. (2008): Estrogenic endocrine disruption in Switzerland: Assessment of fish exposure and effects. In: CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, Vol. 62, Nr. 5, S. 376-382.