BASQUE COUNTY, SPAIN, April 4, 2014 ( – A new report is showing that chemicals in contraceptives, as well as certain everyday products, are producing eggs in male fish in estuaries in a county in Spain.

The report says endocrine disrupting chemicals are seeping into the water and affecting reproductive and developmental processes in fish. Specifically, male fish testicles have been found to have immature eggs. The chemicals are found in products such as pesticides, oral contraceptives, and detergents.

It is suspected that the estuaries are impacted after the chemicals make their way through cleaning systems in water treatment plants and/or because of farming and industrial activities.


Spain has studied the problem in this part of the country for nearly seven years. They have found both masculinization and feminization of organisms, though data is still uncertain as to the effects on the environment.

In 2009, a study by Brunel University, the Universities of Exeter and Reading and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Britain found “testosterone-blocking” chemicals affected wildlife and possibly human beings.

Male fish had been found to change sex, and other studies at the time found that a link may exist between human male fertility issues caused by testicular dysgenesis syndrome.

The British study looked at over 1,000 fish from 30 rivers across Britain.