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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2004 Mar;57(3):303-10.

Temporal and spatial variability in the estrogenicity of a municipal wastewater effluent.

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Ecological Services Division, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Panama City Field Office, 1601 Balbao Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405, USA.


The estrogenicity of a municipal wastewater effluent was monitored using the vitellogenin biomarker in adult male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). The variability in the expression of vitellogenin was evident among the monitoring periods. Significant (alpha< or =0.05) increases in plasma vitellogenin concentrations were detected in March and December, but not in August or June. Additionally, the magnitude of expression was variable. Variability in the spatial scale was also evident during the March and June exposure months. Concurrent exposures in both the creek receiving the effluent from a wastewater treatment plant and an experimental wetland showed estrogenicity to be different with distance from the respective effluent inflow sites. March exposures showed estrogenicity to be somewhat persistent in the receiving creek (>600 m), but to decrease rapidly within the experimental wetland (<40 m). Results are discussed relative to the monitoring season, to the spatial distribution of the response in both receiving systems, and to possible causative factors contributing to the effluent estrogenicity.

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