Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011ND242B

Bioavailability of Dissolved and Colloidal Organic Carbon Bound Estrogen

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $7,700 Total Non-Federal Funds: $15,400

Principal Investigators: Francis Casey

Abstract: The natural estrogen, 17Estradiol (E2), is the most potent endocrine disrupting compound, where part per trillion concentrations can induce reproductive abnormalities in sensitive organisms. This issue of reproductive hormones in the environment is of particular relevance to animal agricultural because of the association of hormone detections with manure management practices. Natural hormone concentrations have been detected in runoff and receiving surface waters as a result of field manure application. Reproductive hormones have also been measured in subsurface waters in proximity to intensive livestock production. Large-scale reconnaissance data by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of samples collected across 30 states at sites predicted to have point source pollution (e.g. downstream waste treatment plants), detected hormones in ~40% of the 139 streams or rivers. Widespread E2 detections throughout the soil profile and shallow groundwater were also found in fields in and around a swine (Sus scrofa domesticus) farm in western North Dakota. One major Research Question of this project is, Does E2 bound to DOC/COC have the same estrogenic potency as aqueous dissolved E2? This research question is essential, because it is apparent that one of the major fate and transport mechanisms of E2 in and to surface and subsurface water resources is related to its association with DOC/COC. 17estradiol is very potent, and animal agriculture is a major source of this compound. A benefit of the proposed project will be to identify whether E2 bound to DOC/COC is a cause of concern. Furthermore, this proposed study will provide a new tool to this research area, which might be used to quantify the relative estrogenicity of hormone detections in the environment. This connection between toxicological significance and environmental detections of estrogens and other hormones is severely needed. To date, there is no real objective data that provides toxicological implications of hormone detections in the environment. Additionally, this research will be beneficial in the context of manure management, and the resulting fate and transport of E2 from manure and its impacts the receiving water quality. The association of estradiol to certain organic carbon fractions can provide insight into how to properly manage manure.