Assessing the Effects of Endocrine Disrupters from St. Paul Sewage Treatment Plant on Sperm Viability and Testicular Development in Fish: Adding a New Dimension to an Existing Project

Project Staff

Principal Investigators: Peter Sorensen, Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Heiko Schoenfuss, Research Associate, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Ira Adelman, Professor and Head, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; and Deborah L. Swackhamer, Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

Funding

USGS-WRRI 104B/ CAIWQ Competitive Grants Program

Project Duration

March 1998 - February 2001

Summary

The objective of this study is to determine whether fish exposed to compounds found in the effluent of the St. Paul (Minnesota) Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) experience sex reversal and suffer from reduced sperm viability as a result of exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). This study was part of a larger effort to identify the effects of endocrine disrupters on the reproductive health of fish populations. EDCs are man-made or naturally occurring compounds that are found in the environment and disrupt hormonal pathways causing harm to the exposed organisms or their offspring.

Publications

Refereed Scientific Journal Articles

Schoenfuss, H. L., J. T. Levitt, G. Van Der Kraak, and P. W. Sorensen. 2002. Ten week exposure to treated sewage effluent discharge has small, variable effects on reproductive behavior and sperm production in goldfish. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 21 (10): 2185-2190.

Conference Proceedings

Martinovic, D.,P.W. Sorensen and H.L. Schoenfuss. 2003. Low levels of water-borne estrogen suppress androgen levels and the ability to male fathead minnow to reproduce in the competitive spawning scenario. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals In Water, R. Masters (ed.), Minneapolis, MN, March 19-21, 2003, pp. 125-133.

Levitt, J. T., H. L. Schoenfuss, I. R. Adelman. 2001. Possible Effects of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds on Walleye, Stizostedion vitreum, near the Metro Sewage Treatment Plant, Saint Paul, MN. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Pharmaceutics and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Water, D. Guth (ed.), Minneapolis, MN, October 9-11, 2001, pp. 191-202.

Schoenfuss, H.L. 2003.The need for novel approaches in assessing the biological impact of biologically active compounds. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals In Water, R. Masters (ed.), Minneapolis, MN, March 19-21, 2003, pp. 103-121.

Other Publications

choenfuss, H.L., D. Martinovic, and P.W. Sorensen. 2001. Effects of exposure to low levels of water-borne 17b-estradiol on nest holding ability and sperm quality in fathead minnows. Water Resources Update 120: 49-55.