Thursday, March 24, 2005

One thing I'm doing to help the environment:)

Ever since I "met" Not Crunchy and started reading her blog I've renewed my interest in the environment and how we should be taking care of it. So when a friend of my Dad's (who works at a water treatment plant) mentioned to his wife (who mentioned it to my mom who mentioned it to me) that they were finding fish with BOTH male and female reproductive organs possibly due to birth control pills in the water- I was intrigued. Could birth control pills really be an environmental issue? See (deep breath here), my dh and I decided years ago to leave our "family planning" up to God, who is in control anyway. So I already knew that the pill was a faith issue (for us at least). And I've done a lot of research on all the reasons it's a major health issue. But an environmental issue? That could garner some attention. If you don't feel like reading this article (Blogger won't take my link - I'm trying to fix it), let me sum it up a little. All this estrogen we're taking is being "flushed" back into the water system affecting all the fish and other life in our water ways. It's also finding it's way back into our drinking water affecting us. It could cause all sorts of reproductive problems for animals and humans alike. And what about all the other drugs we take? Anyone else wondering about the rapidly climbing rates of antibacterial resistance? So here's my idea of something to do for the environment - stop taking the pill! Just PLEASE don't flush it:)


Kristen said...

Wow, Shannon, that is WILD.

Ryan and I made the same decision, by the way. ((HUG)) :)

Not Crunchy said...

I've heard of this problem too - it is scary because as far as I know, there is no procedure in place to remove organic compounds during the wastewater treatment process.

Since environmental problems ultimately boil down to over-population (we have more people than the earth can sustainably support) I'll make a trade with you: I'll keep putting hormones into the water and not have kids and you have my portion of kids and keep the hormones out of the water.:-)

Shannon said...

Kristen - so glad we're not the only ones:)

NC - I'm planning a whole other post on over-population, but until then let's go with your plan:) I love that you are so generous with people who's ideas are different than yours.

Not Crunchy said...

I'm glad that you took my comment in the good spirit in which it was meant. :-) I'm looking forward to your views on over-population.

I did a little reading on this topic. Some Canadian researchers put birth control pills in a lake (there are about 80 lakes in Canada set aside for research) over 3 years to get the estrogen level similar to that in U.S. municipal water supplies. One entire fish population died because all the fish turned into females so could no longer reproduce without any males around. In another species of fish, the males all had eggs in their testicles. There are bacteria which break down most of the estrogen in our water supply, so allowing the bacteria longer to break down estrogen in waste water treatment plants is a workable solution to this problem. Oh, and the estrogen comes from women's urine - not just from extra pills being flushed. Thanks for bringing up this topic.

Shannon said...

Oh, and the estrogen comes from women's urine - not just from extra pills being flushed.

NC - Good point - I knew that but didn't make it very clear.