A recently published study shows chemicals common in Minnesota lakes are affecting male fish.
The study found endocrine disrupting compounds in all of the lakes researchers studied -- even in remote northern Minnesota. The compounds can come from detergents, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.
Researchers also found about 10 percent of male fish are developing female sexual characteristics.
U.S. Geological Survey scientist Jeff Writer said even small amounts of the chemicals are cause for concern.
"It's complicated and these compounds we produce tend to show up -- they don't just go away," Writer said. "So, I think the focus is to really start thinking about our role in producing compounds that persist and what potential problems that might have."
Writer said additional studies are planned to learn more about long term effects on fish. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and St. Cloud State University were partners in the research.