Plastic Can Disrupt Development of Turtle Embryos

Turtle A red-eared slider turtle lounges on a log. Researchers at Illinois State University plan to study the effects of BPA on this species of turtles.
Image Credit: VA State Park Staff

Researchers at Illinois State University are studying the impacts of BPA, a common chemical found in plastic, on red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans). Rachel Bowden, biology professor at the university and Ryan Paitz postdoctoral researcher, began studying the effects of estrogen on sex of turtles in summer 2014 and found that the presence of BPA can disrupt the activation of estrogen in turtle embryos, which can result in long-term health issues. Now, researchers are examining whether BPA effects are limited to estrogens or if they also impact metabolism of other steroids. Read more at Vidette Online.