Pollution of agricultural soils by pesticides, such as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), can be a significant issue since high detection rates of these compounds were reported in our previous studies. However, more uncertain kinds, quantities and density of pollutants remained in soil samples were unidentified. In this study, the total hormonal activities of complex mixtures of both known and unknown contaminants in agricultural soils in mainland China were measured by applying highly sensitive reporter gene assays for detecting agonists/antagonists for estrogen receptor (ER), androgen receptor (AR), progesterone receptor (PR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). High detection rates of estrogenic activities and anti-progestogenic activities were observed among the 123 soil samples, reaching 79% and 73%, respectively. More than half of the soil samples showed obvious antagonistic effects against AR and GR. Approximately a third of tested samples exhibited androgenic, progestogenic and glucocorticoidic effects. A total of 72% and 78% soil extracts had mineralocorticoid-like and anti-mineralocorticoid activities, respectively. Significant positive correlations were observed between estrogenic activity and the concentrations of Σdichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), Σendosulfans, Σchlordanes, heptachlor and Σdrins, respectively, but not other receptors. As a rapid and convenient pre-caution method, determination of endocrine-disrupting potencies of contaminated soils via bioassay could help to identify and define sites that required further attention for ecological risk assessments.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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