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The impact of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in sewage contaminated waters on aquatic biota and identification of the causative compounds.

Funding: 2003: $86,000
2004: $86,000
2005: $86,000

Project Member(s): Lim, R., Booth, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage Projects)
Sydney Water (Sydney Water Partner Funds)
New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA Partnership funding)
Sinclair Knight Merz Pty Ltd

Start year: 2003

Summary: The project's aims are to determine a) the impact of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) such as contraceptive pills and detergents in sewage effluent on aquatic biota; and b) which EDCs contribute to the impact. This project will provide the first comprehensive assessment of whether EDCs are causing effects in rivers downstream of sewage treatment plants and will identify the chemicals responsible. New biological tests for detecting endocrine disruption will also be developed for research and commercial use. The findings will assist regulatory bodies and water service providers to develop appropriate legislative, management and technological strategies to minimise EDC impacts on ecosystem health.


Rawson, CA, Lim, RP & Warne, MSJ 2008, 'Skeletal morphology and maturation of male Gambusia holbrooki exposed to sewage treatment plant effluent', ECOTOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 453-461.
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Rawson, CA, Lim, RP, Warne, MS & Doyle, CJ 2006, 'The effect of 17 beta-estradiol on the development of modified hemal spines in early-life stage Gambusia holbrooki', ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 253-262.
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Doyle, CJ & Lim, RP 2005, 'Sexual behavior and impregnation success of adult male mosquitofish following exposure to 17 beta-estradiol', ECOTOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 392-397.
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Doyle, C, Barker, J, Lim, RP & Gray, LE 1970, 'Reproductive morphology of male mosquitofish (gambusia holbrooki) inhabiting sewage-contaminated waters in the South Creek catchment on the Hawkesbury-Nepean River', Proceedings of Chemicals of Concern in Water Speciality Conference 2003, Chemicals of Concern in Water, Australian Water Assocaition & International Water Association, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-10.

Keywords: Sewage effluent Endocrine disrupting compounds Fish Amphibians Toxicity Identification Evaluation Bioassays

FOR Codes: Environmental Impact Assessment, Freshwater Ecology, Land and water management, Actuarial Mathematics, Biological Mathematics, Mountain and High Country Land and Water Management, Freshwater ecology , Biological mathematics , Environmental assessment and monitoring, Terrestrial erosion , Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use , Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified