A Malaysian professor, Ahmad Zaharin Aris warned Malaysians that our water supply is facing a new threat, and he reckons that we’re not prepared for it, wrote Malaysian Insight.
He claimed that pollutants like endocrine disruptors (EDCs) are turning fishes in Malaysian rivers – “gay” and “transsexual”. Prof Ahmad – who is a hydro-chemistry expert – elaborated that EDCs will change the fishes’ hormones and subsequently, their sex too. Huh?
Prof Ahmad, who works in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), said that EDCs – which are also disruptive to the “human endocrine system” – are already present in our drinking water and food supply.
FYI, the human endocrine system actually regulates hormones in our body and this affects “growth, development, and reproduction”.
This result came in after the UPM environmental studies faculty conducted research on several of our water sources. In a seminar on river pollution that was organised by SPAN, Prof Zaharin was quoted as saying,
“They changed fish sexual preferences by disrupting their hormones so that males become attracted to males and females to females. In essence, gay and lesbian fish.”
“There are also fish born with opposite reproductive organs, such as male fish with female organs and vice-versa. So when we eat too much of these fish, they can accumulate in our bodies.”
The professor also added that the sex changes in fishes and shellfishes occur because of “active ingredients” that are normally used to make family planning pills.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shared that there is, indeed, evidence of humans’ and animals’ endocrine systems being affected by exposure to environmental chemicals. This exposure often results in bad health and some of these effects are mentioned below:
- Reproductive problems in adults
- Growth defect in children
On the other hand, SPAN (Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara) said that they are making plans to deal with river pollution, which eventually led to water cuts in Selangor as well as the Pasir Gudang crisis.
Apart from micro-plastics, water experts believe that EDCs are a kind of “emerging pollutants”. These “new chemicals” and liquid waste are increasing in the environment.
SPAN chairman Charles Santiago revealed that there are almost 40,000 emerging pollutants in the environment but only a few were discovered. He shared that these emerging pollutants are one of the problems which the water industry faces. He said,
“Consumers need to be aware of the dangers of emerging pollutants and to minimise contact with them. For instance, stop drinking too much water from plastic bottles but drink from (a) glass or your tumbler. We can’t 100% eliminate the risk, but we can minimise it.”
“If you eat fish regularly, then you need to minimise this also. An 80kg adult may be able to safely eat 1kg of fish but children may not be able to tolerate this much. Everyone has different acceptance levels.”
Take note, guys!
What’s your take on the professor’s remark about the fishes? And, what other methods do you think the government can implement in order to prevent pollution? Let us know in the comments below!