Environmental monitoring and assessment

Toxicological relevance of endocrine disruptors in the Tagus River estuary (Lisbon, Portugal).

PMID 26135642


The Tagus is the longest Iberian river, notwithstanding, the levels of natural and xenoestrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) were never measured in its estuary. Suspecting for their presence, we made a major survey of 17 EDCs that include: (i) natural (17β-oestradiol and estrone) and pharmaceutical oestrogens (17α-ethynylestradiol); (ii) industrial and household pollutants (octylphenols, nonylphenols and their mono and diethoxylates, and bisphenol A); (iii) phytoestrogens (biochanin A, daidzein, formononetin, genistein); and (iv) the phytosterol (sitosterol). Water samples from the Tagus estuary were taken from nine locations every 2 months over a 1-year period and analysed by gas chromatography. Oestrogens, industrial/household pollutants were consistently higher at two sites-at Tagus River mouth and close to the Trancão tributary, both at Lisbon region. The overall oestrogenic load, in ethynylestradiol equivalents, was 13 ng/L for oestrogens, 2.3 ng/L for industrial/household pollutants and 43 ng/L for phytoestrogens; well in the range of toxicological significance. Water physicochemical parameters also indicated anthropogenic pollution, mainly at the two above-referred sampling sites.