Occurrence of Estrogenic Compounds in Manures and Biosolids

Naturally occurring estrogens in animal manures and biosolids can cause negative environmental impact through disruption of the endocrine system in wild life, domesticated animal, and humans. Very little information is available on the type and the extent of estrogenic compounds in manure and biosolids. The goal of this study was to develop procedures for analyzing different estrogens in different types of swine wastes and biosolids. The wastes included samples of urine and feces from pregnant female pig, non-pregnant pig of similar age, boar, and swine manure from different facilities, and municipal biosolids. The ELISA and HPLC-UV based methods were developed to quantify estrone (E1), 17b estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3) and their conjugates. HPLC analysis showed many organic compounds in manure which had properties similar to that of conjugates of the parent estrogen compounds. Therefore, only the parent compounds E1, E2, and E3 were analyzed in this study. In general, ELISA gave higher concentrations of these compounds compared to HPLC-UV analysis. The total concentration of estrogens was more in feces than in urine and followed the trend: pregnant female > non-pregnant female > boar. The concentration of various estrogens in swine waste was variable with concentrations as low as traces to 84 ?g/L of E1 in manure from nursery pigs and 1398 ?g/L of E2 in pits from finishing pigs. The concentrations of E2 in manure increased by as much as 50-100% on treatment with glucuronidase and sulfatase enzymes indicating that significant concentrations of conjugates were present in manure. None of these free estrogens were detected in biosolids, however, very low concentrations of conjugated estrogens were detected. The potential for these conjugated estrogens converting to free estrogens in manure lagoons or in soil when the manure or biosolids are land applied needs to be studied.
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