Septic systems, but not sanitary sewer lines, are associated with elevated oestradiol in male frog metamorphs from suburban ponds

Suburban neighbourhoods are a dominant type of human land use. Many housing regions globally rely on septic systems, rather than sanitary sewers, for wastewater management. There is evidence that septic systems may contaminate waterbodies more than sewer lines. There is also mounting evidence that human activities contaminate waterways with endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which alter wildlife sexual development. While endocrine disruption is often associated with intense activities such as agriculture or wastewater treatment plant discharges, recent evidence indicates that endocrine disruption is pervasive in frogs from suburban neighbourhoods. In conjunction with other putative EDC sources, one hypothesis is that wastewater is contaminating suburban waterways with EDCs derived from pharmaceuticals or personal care products. In the present study, the authors measure oestradiol (E2) in metamorphosing green frogs (Rana clamitans) from forested ponds and suburban ponds adjacent to either septic tanks or sanitary sewers. It is shown that E2 is highest in male frogs from septic neighbourhoods and that E2 concentrations are significantly lower in male frogs from forested ponds and from ponds near sewers. The authors concluded that the results indicate that septic tanks may be contaminating aquatic ecosystems differently than sewer lines. This pattern contrasts prior work showing no difference in EDC contamination or morphological endocrine disruption between septic and sewer neighbourhoods, implying that suburbanisation may have varying effects at multiple biological scales like physiology and anatomy.

Authors: Lambert MR, Giller GS, Skelly DK, Bribiescas RG. ;Full Source: General and Comparative Endocrinology. 2016 Jan 12. pii: S0016-6480(16)30009-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.01.009. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]