Occurrence, distribution and risk assessment of estrogens in surface water, suspended particulate matter, and sediments of the Yangtze Estuary.

PMID 25676496


The occurrence and distribution of six selected estrogen compounds were investigated in samples of surface water, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and sediment in the Yangtze Estuary and its coastal areas over four seasons. With the exception of 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), all estrogens were detected at least once in all three phases with bisphenol A (BPA) and estriol (E3) as the dominant estrogens in all phases. EE2 was not detected in any surface water samples. In addition, the highest total estrogen concentrations were found in January in all phases, which could be due to the low flow conditions and temperature during this season. A significant positive correlation was found between total estrogen concentrations and organic carbon (OC) contents, both in the water phase and solid phase (i.e. SPM and sediment), indicating the vital role played by OC. Based on a yeast estrogen screen (YES) bioassay, the higher estrogenic risk was found in the SPM and sediment phase when compared to the water phase. These results were confirmed by a risk assessment which revealed that the Yangtze Estuary was displayed a low to high risk over the seasons for all selected estrogens.