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WP8 Beyond Occurrence: Fate and Effects of Pharmaceutical and Other Emerging Wastewater Contaminants in Aquatic Systems
(ROB-1117-717714) Detection and degradation potential of phenolic estrogenic compounds in marine samples from Halifax Harbour.
Robinson, B1, Hellou, J1, 2, 1 Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada2 Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
ABSTRACT- There is growing concern over the occurrence of natural and synthetic estrogens in waterways, since low concentrations of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDC) have been linked to reproductive and developmental effects in aquatic organisms. The occurrence and especially partitioning of EDC has received less attention in marine relative to freshwater environments. With the ongoing construction of sewage treatment plants, Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada, presents a unique opportunity to gather baseline data on chemicals discharged in sewage effluents. The phenolic targets 17-estradiol (E2), ethynylestradiol (EE2) and bisphenol-A (BPA) were extracted from seawater using solid phase extraction and from sediment using a sonic probe. Extracts were fractionated to help remove less and more polar anthropogenic chemicals, prior to the identification and quantification of E2, EE2 and BPA. Preliminary analysis of samples yielded concentrations in the low ng/L or ng/g for the three EDC. The partitioning and biodegradation of these compounds spiked individually or concomitantly, in harbour seawater/sediment mixtures was examined for various locations, where concentrations in the aqueous and sediment phases were monitored for up to 28 days, in fresh and autoclaved samples. The following ranking of biodegradation rates E2 > BPA > EE2 was consistently observed, but varied in magnitude with time and location, indicating variability in consortia of micro-organisms or factors influencing the adaptation of micro-organisms capable of degrading these compounds. In general, more partitioning took place onto sediments with higher compared to lower organic carbon content, while bacterial counts in field water was not strictly related to partitioning or degradation rates. Advantages and disadvantages of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and LC/MS/MS analyses, each differently sensitive toward the targets and potential interferences will be discussed relative to matrix effects.
Key words: estrogenic compounds, partitioning, biodegredation, Halifax Harbour
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