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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Farm-scale reconnaissance of estrogens in subsurface waters

item Schuh, Mary
item Casey, Francis
item Hakk, Heldur

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2007
Publication Date: 11/8/2007
Citation: Schuh, M., Casey, F.X., Hakk, H. 2007. Farm-scale reconnaissance of estrogens in subsurface waters. Annual Meeting of ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, November 4-8, 2007, Madison, WI.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: 17ß-estradiol is a natural estrogenic hormone found in animal manure and urine. In its parent form it has the ability to affect the reproductive systems of aquatic organisms at very low concentrations (10-100 ngL-1). While it has been reported to dissipate rapidly in soil laboratory studies it is frequently detected in the environment at concentrations that could potentially have adverse affects on wildlife. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between soil hydrology, including localized groundwater flow and vertical water movement within the soil profile, and the persistence and detections of 17ß-estradiol in the soil system. Soil cores were taken from various locations at a swine (sus scrofa) farm, where the producer applied liquid manure slurry by injecting it into fields. Cores were taken to the depth of the water table and separated into 6-inch increments in the lab. Pore water was extracted from each section and analyzed for concentrations of 17ß-estradiol and its main metabolites, estrone and estriol, using a combination of mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography (LC/MS-MS). Soil solution 17ß- estradiol concentrations and fluxes ranged from 0 to 733 ng-estradiol/kg-dry soil and may be related to hydrologic processes. A side study observing the rate of dissipation of 17ß-estradiol in pore water found dissipation to be nearly instantaneous. In this study a known amount of 17ß-estradiol was applied to the surface of soil columns and extracted at designated times intervals of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 48,and 64 hours. Very little of 17ß-estradiol’s main transformation product, estrone, was found. This may indicate that the majority of the hormone binds quickly to non water-soluble soil material.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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