Changes in the sorption and rate of 17β-estradiol biodegradation by dissolved organic matter collected from different water sources

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Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 2012, 14 (2), pp. 543 - 551
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The potential biodegradation and subsequent transformation of 17β-estradiol (E2) to estrone (E1) were examined in the presence of various dissolved organic matter (DOM) isolated from effluent, river and lake waters. In addition, estrogenicity was estimated in association with the removal of E2 via its sorption onto DOM and biodegradation. The more biodegradable lake-derived DOM promoted more extensive transformation of E2 into E1 than the effluent organic matter through a biodegradation process. Overall, under all conditions, biodegradation dominated the removal of E2 in water. The increased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in river and lake-derived DOM (e.g. 6.5 mg C L -1) reduced the removal of E2 by decreasing its biodegradation due to the moderate sorption of E2 onto DOM. The effluent organic matter showed greater removal of E2 via biodegradation, as well as significantly high sorption. This was associated with a large amount of hydrophobic fulvic acid (FA)- and humic acid (HA)-like organic components, as shown by the small increase in the specific UV absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA 254). An increase in the DOC concentration reduced the removal of E2, resulting in high estrogenicity. The present study suggests that both organic composition and DOC concentration influenced the removal of E2 and, therefore, should be fully considered when assessing estrogenicity and its impacts on the aquatic environment. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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