Simply Science: Water Quality

6:37 PM, Sep 23, 2010   |    comments
Dr. Guillette
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No one wants to pollute but one of the ways we're really mucking up our wetlands, lakes and rivers is from day-to-day activities.

"On your yard, in your sink. It's going to end up in  your water. One way or another it ends up in the water of Minnesota," explains Dr. Guillette an OBGYN and professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Dr. Guillette is on an educational mission to get the word out and talk a bit about his research too.

This particular morning he's on m-p-r talking to listeners.

"Clearly this is environmental. Is it  environmental contaminants? Probably a piece of it. Is  it all of it? At this point, we have no idea," said Dr. Guillette.

He's referring to some disturbing trends his research has found in alligators, specifically reproductive and early development.

"Wildlife are incredible sentinels.  Alligators are a top predator in the southeast U.S. They're at the top of the food chain. They live in a lake and so therefore we can study those lakes or those marshes. These abnormalities we're finding in alligators  and in fish are very similar to abnormalities we're  seeing in humans. Some of those abnormalities are due to  contaminants as well. Pesticides, various environmental contaminants  we come into contact with every day. But the fact is that for some of those areas we're taking water from  these lakes, or the water from the lakes and rivers are making up some of our ground water where we take our water," added Dr. Guillette.

Getting the word out is a goal of dr. Guillette's and the university of Minnesota and the fresh water society of Minnesota, who all recently sponsored a talk locally he was a part of.

"We have to truly start thinking about that when  we make a chemical it's going to be released into  the environment whether it's a drug or whatever," added Dr. Guillette.

"We have to change our perception that just  because it's released into the environment dilution  is the answer to pollution. That somehow if it goes into a big lake it's just gone," added Dr. Guillette.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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