Due to the potential global scope of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC), the possibility of serious problems in humans and wildlife they pose and the persistence of some suspected EDCs in the environment, research on EDCs is a high priority at EPA. Sandy and other scientists at the Ecology Division are conducting research to investigate sources of suspected EDCs that impact the environment and the risks EDCs pose to the long-term abundance and viability of fish and wildlife species. Mathematical computer modeling is an essential tool for ecological research.
EDCs enter the environment from municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastewaters. These chemicals, which can mimic natural reproductive and metabolic hormones, can cause impaired reproduction, survival, and development in fish and other aquatic animals exposed to them. Population models employ data from field and laboratory studies, along with sets of equations, to investigate risks to the long-term abundance and viability of fish and wildlife species. The goal of these models is to minimize the exposure of humans and wildlife to suspected EDCs.
Dr. Sandy Raimondo is a scientist within EPA’s Gulf Ecology Division at the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory.