Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Pennsylvania
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Pennsylvania Project

Establishing a strategy for assessing risk of endocrine-disrupting compounds to aquatic and terrestrial organisms

October 2015 - September 2019


Participating Agencies

  • USGS Toxics program

Endocrine disruption is a national and global concern that affects fish, wildlife and human populations. Through interactions with neural, endocrine, and immune systems, endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) can influence growth, development, reproduction, disease, and mortality, with adverse outcomes for populations, communities, and ecosystems. Within the Chesapeake Bay, understanding the effects of EDCs on fish and wildlife populations has been identified as a priority to help inform natural resource management. Specifically, there is a need for assessing the risk of EDCs to fish and wildlife populations and their health. The risk assessment will integrate our understanding of the (1) population dynamics of the fish or wildlife species of interest, (2) mechanisms through which EDCs interact with individuals, and (3) exposure pathways between sources of EDCs, including hydrological conditions and land use practices, and fish and wildlife populations. This will help identify short and long-term impacts of compounds or classes of chemicals of concern, potential environmental conditions and stressors that may mediate the effects of EDCs, and how land use management practices may reduce exposure to EDCs.