Identifying consumer product ingredients and their degradates with endocrine activity

Academic Research Topics in Environmental Measurement and Monitoring
Oral Presentation

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Endocrine disrupting compounds in the environment have been a topic of national and regional concern. The EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) has identified hundreds of compounds that exhibit endocrine disrupting characteristics. To date however, there has been little research investigating endocrine activity of products formed during degradation of consumer product ingredients, such as occurs within wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), which are designed to achieve substantial reductions in concentrations of diverse organic compounds. Utilizing an effect-directed analysis (EDA) of endocrine active compounds in sewage sludge allows us to conduct a “bottom up” search for compounds that are not currently suspected as endocrine disrupting, and therefore not on the EDSP radar; or are transformation products originating from active ingredients found in consumer products. Twelve WWTPs throughout California have contributed sewage sludge samples for this research, which couples suspect and non-target High Resolution LC-MS/MS with cell-based CALUX (Chemically Activated LUciferase gene eXpression) bioassays capable of identifying estrogenic, androgenic and aryl hydrocarbon receptor interactions. This presentation will outline the method and workflow of this technique in addition to reporting a subset of universally present compounds in sewage sludge identified using target, suspect and non-target analytical approaches.