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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Persistence of Testosterone and 17β-Estradiol in Soils Receiving Swine Manure or Municipal Biosolids


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 3, p. 861-871
    Received: Aug 25, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): toppe@agr.gc.ca
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  1. Anne-Marie Jacobsena,
  2. Angela Lorenzenb,
  3. Ralph Chapmanb and
  4. Edward Topp *b
  1. a Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2 Universitetsparken, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
    b Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1391 Sandford Street, London, ON, Canada N5V 4T3


Natural and synthetic steroidal hormones can be carried to agricultural soil through fertilization with municipal biosolids, livestock manure, or poultry manure. The persistence and pathways of dissipation of [4–14C]-testosterone and of [4–14C]-17β-estradiol in organic-amended soils were investigated using laboratory microcosms. Testosterone dissipation was investigated over a range of amendment concentrations, temperatures, and soil types. Under all conditions the parent compound and transformation products were dissipated within a few days. Addition of swine manure slurry to soil hastened the transformation of testosterone and 17β-estradiol to the corresponding less hormonally active ketones, 4-androstene-3,17-dione and estrone. Two other testosterone transformation products, 5α-androstan-3,17-dione and 1,4-androstadiene-3,17-dione, were also detected. Experiments with sterilized soil and sterilized swine manure slurry suggested that the transformation of 14C-labeled hormonal parent compounds was mainly caused by microorganisms in manure slurry, while mineralization of the hormones to 14CO2 required viable soil microorganisms. Organic amendments transiently inhibited the mineralization of [4–14C]-testosterone, perhaps by inhibiting soil microorganisms, or by enhancing sorption and reducing the bioavailability of testosterone or transformation products. Overall, organic amendments influenced the pathways and kinetics of testosterone and estradiol dissipation, but did not increase their persistence.

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Copyright © 2005. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA