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RP5 Endocrine Disruption and Pharmaceutical Issues
(YON-1117-826411) Reconnaissance of 17 -estradiol in Delmarva watersheds receiving runoff from poultry litter-amended agricultural fields.
Yonkos, Lance1, Fisher, Daniel1, Van Veld, Peter2, 1 University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center, Queenstown, Maryland, USA2 College of William and Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, Gloucester Point, Virginia, USA
ABSTRACT- Nearly 1.6 billion lbs of poultry manure or litter are generated annually as a by-product of the Delmarva poultry industry. Disposal of this material is accomplished by application to regional agricultural fields as organic fertilizer, usually in excess of crop requirements, and often results in runoff of litter-associated contaminants into receiving waters following rain events. Of particular concern are steroid hormones, 17 -estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), and testosterone (T), excreted naturally by birds during development and persistent in dry manure until the time of field application. E2 concentrations in runoff can exceed 300 ng/L while effects concentrations (i.e. inhibition/disruption of sexual development and reproductive physiology) in fish and amphibians can occur at ≤20 ng/L. In a 2004 reconnaissance of agriculturally-influenced surface waters (streams, rivers) on Maryland's Eastern Shore, 52 of 93 sites investigated (55%) had detectable E2 levels (radioimmunoassay; method detection limit 18 ng/L). Concentrations ranged from 19 to 75 ng/L (average 29 ng/L). Samples were collected during or immediately after spring rain events from watersheds known to receive substantial inputs of poultry litter-associated agricultural runoff. Given the prevalence of litter application to fields in the selected watersheds it is highly likely that E2 in these samples had its origins in poultry litter. In follow-up sampling during fall low-flow conditions only 11 of 62 agricultural sites (17%) had detectable E2. An ephemeral pond associated with a large corn field, prime amphibian breeding habitat, had an E2 level of 245 ng/L immediately following the first rain event after poultry litter application. In addition, several sites within discharge plumes of municipal wastewater treatment plants had E2 at levels of 32 to 112 ng/L.
Key words: CAFO, poultry litter, 17 -estradiol, agricultural runoff
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