‘The Pill’ not to blame for oestrogen in drinking water – Study

Contrary to popular belief, birth control pills have been found to account for less than 1% of the oestrogens found in the USA’s drinking water supplies.

oestrogen in drinking waterAccording to scientists of the Programme on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California, San Francisco, this endocrine disrupter enters drinking water supplies mainly from other sources.  Amber Wise, Kacie O’Brien and Tracey Woodruff note ongoing concern about possible links between chronic exposure to oestrogens in the water supply and fertility problems and other adverse human health effects.  Almost 12 million women of reproductive age in the USA take the pill, and their urine contains the hormone.  Hence the belief that oral contraceptives are the major source of estrogen in lakes, rivers and streams.

Knowing that sewage treatment plants remove virtually all the main oestrogen – 17 alpha-athinylestradiol (EE2) – in oral contraceptives, the scientists decided to pin down the main sources of oestrogen in water supplies.  Their analysis found that EE2 has a lower predicted concentration in USA drinking water than natural oestrogens from soy and dairy products and animal waste used untreated as a farm fertiliser.  And that all humans (men, women and children, and especially pregnant women) excrete hormones in their urine, not just women taking oral contraceptives.

Some research cites in the report suggests that animal manure accounts for 90% of oestrogens in the environment.  Other research estimates that if just 1% of the oestrogens in livestock waste reached waterways, it would comprise 15% of the oestrogens in the world’s water supply.

Source: The Water Wheel March/April Volume 10 No. 2

“Less than 1%” is still oestrogen in our drinking water and as we know, only minuscule amounts of hormones can have a very big effect on biological systems, including humans.  Perhaps though, we should also consider the benefits of the ‘the pill’, i.e. preventing many unwanted pregnancies and helping to slow our exploding population.  Many scientists believe the earth’s human carrying capacity was reached more than a century ago.

Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems Mpumalanga offers water tank and rainwater tank installation, rainwater harvesting systems (see rainwater FAQ), grey water recycling  (see greywater FAQ) and water-saving devices for swimming pools and toilet flush systems (see product demo ).  Our WWF Award-winning water systems can be retrofitted or built into new buildings and can be adapted to small households or large business blocks, hospitals, schools, lodges & hotels.

Water Rhapsody has incorporated Yes Solar– official distributor of German-made Solsquare solar water heating systems that are installed by Eskom-accredited solar installers (our solar geysers are eligible for Eskom solar energy rebates).  We are authorized JoJo Water Tank dealers and Atlas Plastics water tank suppliers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province (best water tank prices in the Lowveld!).  We are also able to supply sanitary hardware such as waterless toilets through our JoJo Tanks and Atlas Plastics dealerships.

Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a solar water geyser, water tank or rainwater/gray water system.  South Africa now has eco-friendly insurance– another way to go green, switch to green insurance cover and reduce your carbon footprint today!

, , , , , , ,