BPA Causes Interspecies Mating
Bisphenol-A is blurring the lines between species of fish, a new study has found, potentially sparking a boom in interspecies sex that could upend some ecosystems. Better-known as BPA, the industrial chemical mimics estrogen, allowing it to disrupt hormones in a wide range of animals. It’s used as a hardening agent in many types of plastic, but its widespread use also makes it a common pollutant in nature.
“Chemicals from household products and pharmaceuticals frequently end up in rivers, and BPA is known to be present in aquatic ecosystems across the United States,” says lead researcher Jessica Ward, an ecologist at the University of Minnesota, in a press release about the study. “Until now studies have primarily focused on the impact to individual fish, but our study demonstrates the impact of BPA on a population level.”