The assessment of Namibian water resources for endocrine disruptors
Namibia is the driest sub-Saharan country in Africa and it is characterised by low and variable rainfall. As a result, potable water in this mostly semi-arid country is considered an extremely valuable resource. Given the variety of anthropogenic and natural chemicals released into the environment by a growing human population, many water resources worldwide present health risks to both man and wildlife. Many of these chemicals are classified as endocrine disruptors which are chemicals with the ability to adversely affect the physiological systems regulated by the endocrine systems of organisms. These include, among others, reproductive, neurological and immunological effects. Endocrine disrupting chemicals include: natural and synthetic hormones such as estrogen, estrone, estriol and testosterone; heavy metals such as tri-butyltin, lead and cadmium; pesticides such as organophosphates and organochlorides; and a number of compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls.