Source: Arditsoglou, A. and Voutsa, D. Occurrence and partitioning of endocrine-disrupting compounds in the marine environment of Thermaikos Gulf, Northern Aegean Sea, Greece. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 64: 2243-2452. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.07.048
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can interfere with the hormonal systems of both humans and wildlife. New research quantifying EDCs in marine environments in Greece found concentrations which present significant risks to sediment-dwelling organisms.
Reduction and prevention of chemical pollution and subsequent harm to marine ecosystems is a key aim of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive1. EDCs can enter the marine environment via sewage, industrial waste water or indirectly through watercourses. Once present in the ecosystem, EDCs often take a long time to decay and can cause feminisation, decreased fertility or reduced immune function in marine organisms.