We worry about many different types of contaminants in our water supply: chlorine, arsenic, lead, and iron to name just a few, but, according to Fox News, researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Onatario have discovered a new possible addition to the list: estrogen.
Dr. David Margel, a study researcher, states that “several studies now have found an association between estrogen exposure and prostate cancer. We think this is environmental. [Estrogen] goes into the water [and] into our food chain.” Margel notes that this is still a theory and that more research needs to be done. He also advises women not to stop taking birth control medication until results are conclusive.
According to Margel’s study:
“Birth control pills often contain a type of estrogen called ethinyloestradiol, which women taking the pills excrete in their urine. The hormone ends up in the water supply, or is taken up by plants or animals that use the water, and then passed up the food chain. Although the amount [of estrogen] one woman would secrete is minimal, when millions of women take it for a long period of time, it may have an environmental effect.”
Margel concedes that his findings are only the preliminary stages and that much more research must be conducted in order to discern the full impact of birth control medication on the water supply. In addition, research must also be conducted in different countries in order to truly gage how ubiquitous these cases are.