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Sci Total Environ. 2009 Sep 1;407(18):4975-85. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.06.001. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Urinary excretion rates of natural estrogens and androgens from humans, and their occurrence and fate in the environment: a review.

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Department of Urban Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka City University, Sugimoto 3-3-138, Sumiyoshi-Ku, Osaka 558-8585, Japan.


Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are pollutants with estrogenic or androgenic activities at very low concentrations and are emerging as a major concern for water quality. For sewage of municipal wastewater treatment plants in cities, one of the most important sources of EDCs are natural estrogens and natural androgens (NEAs) excreted from humans. Therefore, estrogenic/androgenic potencies or relative binding affinity of the NEAs were first outlined from different sources, and data of urinary excretion rates of NEAs were summarized. To evaluate their estrogenic activities, their excretion rates of estrogen equivalent (EEQ) or testosterone (T) equivalent (TEQ) were also calculated. Based on our summary, the total excretion rates of EEQ by estrone (E1), 17beta-estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3) only accounted for 66-82% of the total excretion rate of EEQ among four different groups, and the other corresponding natural estrogens contributed 18-34%, which meant that some of the other natural estrogens may also exist in wastewater with high estrogenic activities. Based on the contribution ratio of individual androgens to the total excretion rate of TEQ, five out of 12 natural androgens, T, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androsterone (AD), 5beta-androstanediol (beta-ADL), and androstenediol (ANL) were evaluated as the priority natural androgens, which may exist in wastewater with high androgenic activities. Published data on occurrence and fate of the NEAs including natural estrogen conjugates in the environment were also summarized here.

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