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Boulder Creek Fish Facing Gender-Bender, Wastewater Treatment Upgrade Helping

08/22/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Male fish are taking longer to be "feminized" by chemical contaminants that act as hormone disrupters in Colorado's Boulder Creek following the upgrade of a wastewater treatment plant in Boulder in 2008, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

But the problem of fish feminization -- which causes males to develop characteristics of females and to decline in numbers -- is a global one that is growing as a result of increasing chemicals like natural human reproductive steroids, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, shampoos and soaps making their way into waterways, said CU-Boulder Professor David Norris, who led the study.

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