By signing the following petition, you are expressing your concern for the health of yourself, your family and community, the Potomac River and its aquatic life, and future generations to come.
I am deeply disturbed by the high percentage of male fish found with eggs in the region's rivers and streams. I am also very concerned about the presence, in these same waters, of contaminants that can disrupt hormonal systems and development. Approximately 90% of the DC area's drinking water supply originates in the Potomac River, so it is critical for human health that we keep harmful chemicals out of our rivers and streams.
I find that the presence of these pollutants, known as endocrine disrupting compounds, to be a disturbing portent of declining water quality and perhaps human health for this and future generations. It is time for Congress to give this issue the attention it deserves. I call on my representative and congressional leaders to support the following actions to prevent these chemicals from degrading our environment and threatening our health:
- Provide additional funding ($500,000 per year for 3 years) to research the causes of intersex fish;
- Direct the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences to research endocrine disrupting compounds and their effects on human health and request that Congress fund that research at $2.5 million per year for at least 3 years;
- Demand coordination, oversight and accountability from all agencies using federal funds to research these issues;
- Invest in technology that can filter endocrine disrupting compounds from our drinking water supply and from sewage treatment plant output; and
- Investigate the efficacy of drug take-back programs to keep pharmaceuticals out of our water supply.
[Your Zip Code]
A 2006 study by the U.S. Geological Survey of fish from the Potomac River and various tributaries found intersex in 80% of male bass examined. All samples — those with and without signs of intersex — contained detectible levels of at least one endocrine-disrupting compound. Also, a recent study showed that chemicals commonly found in personal care products, including fragrances and antimicrobial products, were found in muscle tissue of fish tested. The waters (in Texas) were found to be persistent in the fish’s environment because of continuous introduction of the chemicals from a wastewater treatment plant. Locally, the DC Department of Health urges limited consumption of Anacostia and Potomac river fish because of PCB contamination. PCBs have endocrine disrupting qualities. Always skin the fish, trim away fat, and cook fish to drain away fat because chemical contaminants tend to concentrate in the fat of the fish. Read more about intersex fish here.
Phthalates, ethinylestradiol, bisphenol, atrazine. The names may sound exotic, but they are the stuff of modern life... found in shampoo, birth control pills, suntan lotion, food containers, product fragrances, children's clothing and more. Every day, we are showered with hundreds of thousands of chemicals. Additionally, more than 1,000 new compounds are introduced annually. Read more about endocrine disrupting compounds in our waters here.
Two leading culprits identified as potential endocrine disruptors, which could be contributing to the intersex fish phenomenon, include pharmaceutical drugs and personal care products. Widely prescribed drugs can often contain contaminating residues such as caffeine, ibuprofen and naproxen. Personal care products such as soaps, lotions, cosmetics and perfumes contain phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor used to produce fragrance. Federal regulatory agencies have yet to develop consistent, comprehensive guidelines regulating the proper disposal of these items.
Volunteer! Join the Fish Mystery Campaign Team Today!
We are offering hands-on, issue advocacy opportunities for individuals interested in helping us campaign at local events. Volunteering for the Fish Mystery Campaign is an excellent way for you to get involved. Click here to help.
Read more about what you can do to help.