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Down the Drain

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Publication Date: July 2007

Publisher(s): Environmental Working Group

Author(s): Rebecca Sutton

Topic: Environment (Water, waterways, and water management)

Keywords: San Francisco Bay; chemicals

Type: Report

Coverage: California


Advances in technology allow an unprecedented look at chemical contaminants in water bodies throughout the United States. In 2002, the first nationwide study of man-made chemicals and hormones in 139 streams revealed that 80 percent of streams tested were contaminated (Kolpin 2002). Several of the chemicals examined are known or suspected of disrupting the hormone systems of animals and people. Of these, only a small fraction have been regulated at all, much less tested for toxicity, persistence in the environment, or other harmful characteristics, such as hormone disruption. Some of the same unregulated, widely-used, hormone-disrupting chemicals have been detected at trace levels in the San Francisco Bay (Oros 2002).