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Modeling of steroid estrogen contamination in UK and South Australian rivers predicts modest increases in concentrations in the future

Green, Christopher; Williams, Richard; Kanda, Rakesh; Churchley, John; He, Ying; Thomas, Shaun; Goonan, Peter; Kumar, Anu; Jobling, Susan. 2013 Modeling of steroid estrogen contamination in UK and South Australian rivers predicts modest increases in concentrations in the future. Environmental Science & Technology, 47 (13). 7224-7232. 10.1021/es3051058

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Abstract/Summary

The prediction of risks posed by pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the aquatic environment now and in the future is one of the top 20 research questions regarding these contaminants following growing concern for their biological effects on fish and other animals. To this end it is important that areas experiencing the greatest risk are identified, particularly in countries experiencing water stress, where dilution of pollutants entering river networks is more limited. This study is the first to use hydrological models to estimate concentrations of pharmaceutical and natural steroid estrogens in a water stressed catchment in South Australia alongside a UK catchment and to forecast their concentrations in 2050 based on demographic and climate change predictions. The results show that despite their differing climates and demographics, modeled concentrations of steroid estrogens in effluents from Australian sewage treatment works and a receiving river were predicted (simulated) to be similar to those observed in the UK and Europe, exceeding the combined estradiol equivalent’s predicted no effect concentration for feminization in wild fish. Furthermore, by 2050 a moderate increase in estrogenic contamination and the potential risk to wildlife was predicted with up to a 2-fold rise in concentrations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1021/es3051058
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.2 - Assessment of available water resources in a changing world ...
CEH Sections: Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 0013-936X
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Hydrology
Date made live: 14 Aug 2013 15:03 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/502046

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