State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012ND263B
Title: Sorption, Degradation, and Mobility of 17Β-Estradiol-17-Sulfate in Agricultural Soils
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: 001
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Non Point Pollution, Solute Transport
Keywords: Sorption, Degradation,Mobility, Agricultural soils, Estradiol
Principal Investigator: Casey, Francis Xavier McKeon
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,000
Abstract: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment have been found to cause adverse effects to aquatic wildlife (fish, turtles, etc.) by interfering with their normal endocrine functions. Some of the most potent EDCs are naturally occurring estrogenic hormones released by humans and animals, including 17Β-estradiol (E2), and its less active metabolite estrone (E1) and estriol (E3). Manure-borne steroid hormones from animal feeding operations (AFOs) are applied to agricultural fields and contribute to the total estrogen load in surface and ground waters. Estradiol has been detected in runoff and soils after land application of poultry and broil litter, in karst aquifers impacted by poultry litter, in streams impacted by AFO manure, and in groundwater below a dairy-farm wastewater lagoon. On the other hand, according to the laboratory based studies, E2 has been found to have high soil retention and degradation rates. The discrepancies between laboratory and field-based studies show that E2 is rapidly sorbed and degraded under laboratory conditions; however, it is mobile and persistent in the environment at levels that can potentially impact water quality.One of the possible causes of the discrepancies is that deconjugation of E2 conjugates may release free E2 and increase E2 transport in water systems.

Information is still lacking on fate and transport of estrogen conjugates in agricultural soils. In this study, we hypothesize that deconjugation of E2-17-sulfate (E2-17S) could be a potential precursor for free E2 in agricultural soils. The objective of this study is to determine sorption, degradation, and mobility of E2-17S in agricultural soils using soil-water batch studies and column studies.

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