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Environmentalists Target Pollutants That Harm Hormones

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Aired 1/13/10

The Center for Biological Diversity is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to get tough on endocrine disruptors, which harm growth and reproduction.

— The Center for Biological Diversity is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get tough on endocrine disruptors, which harm growth and reproduction.

Antibiotics, pesticides and deodorants are among the many products that contain endocrine disruptor chemicals. Jeff Miller, with the Center for Biological Diversity, says these chemicals mimic or interfere with hormonal activity in humans and animals.

This week the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition to get the EPA to regulate many more of the chemicals under the Clean Water Act. Miller says these compounds show up in water supplies and that they have done a lot of harm.

"They would chemically castrate male frogs," he said. "They've turned fish into inter-sex fish. They've got fish that are both male and female and can no longer reproduce."

One well-known endocrine disruptor is the pesticide atrazine. Many of these chemicals are already regulated, but Miller said the effort to ban or restrict them is easier when they become pollutants under the Clean Water Act.

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