|dc.description.abstract||Recently some chemicals has been accused of mimicking the female hormone
estrogen. The mode of action is termed estrogen-mimicking, because of the effects
that is produced by these chemicals. Playing canary in a coal mine, wildlife was the
first to indicate that something was wrong. Reproductive abnormalities such as
abnormal sperm, reduced sperm production, cryptorchidism (undescended testes).
abnormal hormone levels – particularly high estrogen ratios to that of testosterone.
infertility, and genital abnormalities were all evidence that something in the
environment was affecting the reproductive status of these animals. Also in humans
instances like rising cases of infertility, abnormal sperm conditions and cases of
breast cancer raised an increased concern about the potential disruptive effects of
these substances on the human existence. After investigations were conducted, it
was found that substances which enhance the quality of life like some detergents,
agricultural products, additives to plastic, dyestuffs, paint components and
pharmaceuticals to name but a few, all caused an abnormal reproductive status as
seen in animals. The aims of this study were not to focus on the effect of these
substances, but rather to identify estrogen and estrogen - mimics in the South
African environment and to evaluate their presence in the water environment
qualitatively and quantitatively with the most suitable analytical methods. Estrogen -
mimics such as nonylphenol. o'p' and p'p' DDE, o'p' DDD, lindane, atrazine and the
PCB's : Arochlor 1254 & Arochlor 1260 were found to contaminate the environment.
The drinking water tested of the PWV area indicated that the water was free of these
substances, and thus indicated a present safe situation.||