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Modeling environmental loading rates of municipal wastewater contaminants: steroidal estrogens
KOSTICH, M., R. W. FLICK, AND J. W. MARTINSON. Modeling environmental loading rates of municipal wastewater contaminants: steroidal estrogens. Presented at SETAC North America 2010 Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, November 07 - 12, 2010.
Our objective is to use a previously corroborated model for estimating wastewater concentrations of E1 and E2, together with demographic and WWTP data in order to estimate the range of concentrations of E1 and E2 that can be expected to occur in U.S. wastewater. The predicted environmental concentrations are to be evaluated against previously published measured environmental concentrations of E1 and E2. Accurate estimation could contribute to the formulation of a nationwide risk estimate for these contaminants of concern.
Estrogenic compounds in municipal wastewater are of substantial interest because of suspicion that they may cause reproductive disruption in aquatic invertebrates, and because of their potential to contaminate human drinking water sources. Previous work suggests the primary contributors to estrogenic activity in municipal wastewater are the steroidal estrogens estrone (E1), 17-beta estradiol (E2), and ethinyl estradiol (EE2). Two of these contaminants (E1 and E2) are naturally excreted from human beings, as well as from domesticated and wild animals. EE2 is a component of many contraceptive products. Work in the UK and elsewhere suggests wastewater concentrations of E1 and E2 can be estimated using data on excretion rates for different demographic groups, the demographic makeup of the population served by a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), and the operational parameters of the WWTP. This approach has been used with some success to predict concentrations of contaminants within particular watersheds, but has not been used to estimate wastewater concentrations of contaminants for the entire U.S.