Analysis and Fate of Sewage-Derived Polar Contaminants in the Marine Environment

EPA Grant Number: U915373
Title: Analysis and Fate of Sewage-Derived Polar Contaminants in the Marine Environment
Investigators: Ferguson, P. Lee
Institution: The State University of New York
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: August 1, 1998 through August 1, 2001
Project Amount: $84,599
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Oceanography , Aquatic Ecosystems , Academic Fellowships


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) develop sensitive and selective analytical methods for determining toxic and estrogenic sewage-derived organic contaminants in the marine environment; and (2) use the developed methods to conduct a comprehensive study of the fate and distribution of these compounds in impacted environments.


High performance liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry methods will be developed for the determination of the three classes of contaminants to be studied: nonylphenol ethoxylates, quaternary ammonium surfactants, and steroid hormones (E1, E2, EE2). Full method development will include optimization of extraction and cleanup techniques, determination of chromatographic conditions, and exploration of matrix effects on signal response in the electrospray process. The developed methods will be used to study the fate of specified analytes in a sewage-impacted, urban estuary. Specifically, levels of contaminants will be quantified in surface sediments, dated sediment cores, sewage effluent, suspended particles, and surface waters. From this survey, sources and sinks will be quantified, and the distribution and behavior of the pollutants within the estuary will be determined spatially and temporally.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, surfactants, hormones, endocrine disruptor, electrospray, mass spectrometry, sediment, sewage effluent, nonylphenol, polar contaminants, marine environment, high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry, HPLC-ESI-MS, analytes, quaternary ammonium surfactants, chromatography, steriod hormones, estuary, river sinks, nonylphenol ethoxylate, NPEO, electrospray., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, exploratory research environmental biology, Environmental Chemistry, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Chemistry, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology and Ecosystems, Ecological Indicators, marine ecosystem, sediment, sediment associated organic contaminants, alkylphenol polyethoxylate nonionic surfactants (APEOs), PAH, PAH metabolites, APEO metabolites, environmental fate, benthic macrofauna

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final