State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010NY138B
Title: Quantifying the endocrine activating potential of New York State waters using steroid-responsive bioassays.
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: 22
Focus Categories: Non Point Pollution, Toxic Substances
Principal Investigator: Hay, Anthony
Federal Funds: $ 17,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 34,000
Abstract: Every day humans release hundreds of biologically active compounds including pharmaceuticals into receiving waters. Many of these compounds can interact with nuclear hormone receptors in humans and act to perturb the endocrine system from its normal state, yet we know surprisingly little about what endocrine-active chemicals are present in our waters and if they pose a risk to humans or wildlife. Although significant advances have been made in analytical chemistry which permit the detection of very low concentrations of chemicals (ng/L or parts per trillion in some cases), chemists typically need to know something about the structure of these compounds and have reference standards for them in order to unambiguously confirm their presence in environmental samples. In some cases abiotic and/or biological modification can change the structure and behavior of these compounds enough that they escape analytical detection even though their biological activity may remain. More information is needed regarding the endocrine-active chemical burden in New York State waters before we can fully characterize the risks they pose to human and environmental health. We propose to use a series of steroid responsive bioassays to do a preliminary assessment of the endocrine-active compounds in selected New York State waters. Specifically, we will work with our collaborators at Biological Detection Systems Inc. (BDS) in the Netherlands to assay water for the presence of compounds that activate nuclear hormone receptors for estrogen, androgen, progesterone, and glucocorticoids using the CALUX bioreporters they developed (Van der Linden et al. 2008). This work is important because everyone is concerned about having clean water for themselves and the environment. The public wants to know what is in their water and if it is harmful. WWTP operators need to know what is getting by them before they can figure out what needs to be done to stop it. Regulators and risk assessors need to know what levels of endocrine-active compounds are in our waters before a complete risk assessment can be done and before we can determine what steps need to be taken to further address the issue of endocrine-active compounds in our water.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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