Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2015 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Occurrence of estrogenic hormones and UV filters in an urban watershed in Baltimore, Maryland
Co-Authors: Anne Timm, Claire Welty, and Lee Blaney

Abstract: Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) mimic or counteract natural hormones. Among EDCs, estrogenic hormones and UV filters have gained special consideration due to their high estrogenic potency and intensive consumption. The appearance of estrogens and UV filters in the environment has drawn increasing attention due to potential impacts on human and ecological health. In urban settings with leaking wastewater infrastructure, these concerns are amplified by the constant exposure of freshwater ecosystems to trace concentrations of EDCs. To date, limited information is available on the occurrence of estrogens and UV filters in macroinvertebrates exposed to these chemicals. The objective of this study was to measure three estrogens and four UV filters in water, sediment, and crayfish tissue (i.e., Orconectes virilis) collected just upstream of six USGS stream gage stations in Dead Run, Baltimore, Maryland. Water samples were analyzed using online solid-phase extraction LC-MS/MS. An additional liquid phase extraction was employed for sediment and crayfish tissue samples. Two UV filters (i.e., benzophenone- 3 and octocrylene) were present in water from all sampled locations at 5.8 to 31 ng/L concentrations, while estrone (0.5-15 ng/L) was the only estrogens detected in the water. These molecules, along with 17α ethinylestradiol and octinoxate, were also identified in the sediment and crayfish tissue samples with concentrations up to 23.5 ng/g. Ultimately, these findings confirm that freshwater invertebrates are not only exposed to EDCs, but also accumulate these chemicals in their tissue. Given their prevalence throughout freshwater ecosystems, crayfish may serve as a model organism for future bioaccumulation and ecotoxicological studies.