"PITTSBURGH—A family of molecules developed at Carnegie Mellon University to break down pollutants in water is one step closer to commercial use. Study results published online in the journal Green Chemistry show that the molecules, which are aimed at removing hazardous endocrine disruptors from water sources, aren't endocrine disruptors themselves as they proved to be non-toxic to developing zebrafish embryos.
"Created by Carnegie Mellon green chemist Terry Collins, the molecules, called TAML activators, provide an environmentally friendly method for breaking down toxic compounds that contaminate water, including endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disrupters, which are found in almost 25 percent of our streams, rivers and lakes, can disrupt the normal functions of the endocrine system by mimicking or blocking the activities of hormones in wildlife leading to impaired development.
"While the connections between the adverse effects of endocrine disrupting water contaminants on aquatic organisms and human health have yet to be established, animal studies suggest that endocrine disruptors may be involved in a host of modern-day health epidemics including cancers, learning disabilities, obesity, and immune and reproductive system disorders."
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