Occurrence of alkylphenol ethoxylates or their metabolites (alkylphenols and carboxylated derivatives), as well as natural and synthetic steroids in sewage treatment plant (STP) effluents and in their receiving waters, has been related to biological effects, measured as alterations of plasma vitellogenin (VTG) concentration in natural fish populations. Water composites of STP influents, effluents, sludge, river water, sediment, and feral carps (Cyprinus carpio) were analyzed over a seven‐month period in two tributaries of the Llobregat River (NE Spain). Solid‐phase extraction/liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPE‐LC‐MS) analysis revealed concentrations of up to 31 μg/L for nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEOs), 15 μg/L for nonylphenol (NP), and 35 μg/L for nonylphenoxy carboxylate (NPE1C) in river water downstream of STPs. These compounds were also found to accumulate in river sediment with concentrations ranging from 10 to 820 μg/kg of NPEOs and from 22 to 645 μg/kg for NP. Natural and synthetic estrogens and progestogens also occurred in the water and sediments analyzed but in the ng/L and μg/kg range, respectively. Vitellogenin fluctuated among sites and sampling periods, but it was found to be increased in male carp collected downstream of the main STP. A correlation between endocrine‐disrupting compounds (EDCs) in water and sediment and plasma VTG concentration in male carp was observed, especially for alkylphenolic compounds in water and sediment samples (r = 0.83–0.84 for n = 24) and for estriol and estrone in water (r =0.78 and 0.94 for n = 9 and 8, respectively).
Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2002
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