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Published Articles from USDA ARS National Program 108: Food Safety
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Title: Sorption and metabolism of 17-estradiol-17-sulfate in sterilized soil-water systems
Authors: Bai X, Casey FX, Hakk H, Desutter TM, Oduor PG, Khan E
Journal: Chemosphere
Accepted date: 2014 Feb 16
Interpretive summary: Endocrine disrupting estrogens are commonly found in lake, river, and well waters. Farm animals and wildlife typically eliminate estrogens as non-toxic, water-soluble conjugates, not as the parent estrogen. Our research has investigated how and why the parent estrogens appear in surface and groundwaters when they are excreted mainly as conjugates. We previously demonstrated that estrogen conjugates dissolved in water were transported through soil, and a measurable amount was eventually converted back to parent (unconjugated) estrogens. For this study, we hypothesized that microbes and a healthy microbial environment were necessary before this conversion could occur in soil. Using soils devoid of microbial activity we demonstrated that active microbial populations were not an important factor in the conversion of estrogen-conjugates to parent estrogens. Instead, we learned that this transformation of estrogen conjugates in soil/water systems might involve soil minerals to promote this reaction. Our findings suggested that the transport of unconjugated estrogens derived from estrogen conjugates into ground or surface waters would occur to the same degree in most soil types regardless of the biological activity or organic matter content. Eliminating the introduction of estrogens into the environment from animal wastes would necessitate their destruction prior to manure field application.
Publication date: 2014 Mar 12