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Chemosphere. 2013 Sep;93(2):450-4. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.04.091. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Occurrence of glucocorticogenic activity in various surface waters in The Netherlands.

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  • 1KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.


Considering the important role that surface waters serve for drinking water production, it is important to know if these resources are under the impact of contaminants. Apart from environmental pollutants such as pesticides, compounds such as (xeno)estrogens have received al lot of research attention and several large monitoring campaigns have been carried out to assess estrogenic contamination in the aquatic environment. The introduction of novel in vitro bioassays enables researchers to study if - and to what extent - water bodies are under the impact of less-studied (synthetic) hormone active compounds. The aim of the present study was to carry out an assessment on the presence and extent of glucocorticogenic activity in Dutch surface waters that serve as sources for drinking water production. The results show glucocorticogenic activity in the range of<LOD - 2.4ng dexamethasone equivalentsL(-1) (dex EQs) in four out of eight surface waters. An exploratory time-series study to obtain a more complete picture of the yearly average of fluctuating glucocorticogenic activities at two sample locations demonstrated glucocorticogenic activities ranging between<LOD - 2.7ng dex EQsL(-1). Although immediate human health effects are unlikely, the environmental presence of glucocorticogenic compounds in the ngL(-1) range compels further environmental research and assessment.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Drinking water; Endocrine disruption; GR CALUX; Monitoring; Pharmaceuticals; Rhine

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