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Ecotoxicology. 2013 May;22(4):632-41. doi: 10.1007/s10646-013-1054-0. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

A study of parabens and bisphenol A in surface water and fish brain tissue from the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

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Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC), Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219, USA.


Pollution from xenoestrogens has been discovered in the aquatic environment of the Greater Pittsburgh Area and is suspected to be caused by the failing sewer system. Personal care products and plasticizers have the potential to enter the water supply though treated and untreated sewage. Many of these compounds are suspected xenoestrogens. Paraben detection in surface waters was as follows: methyl paraben ranged between 2.2 to 17.3 ppt; ethyl paraben was not detectable; propyl paraben was detected at 9.2 and 12.0 ppt; butyl paraben was detected at 0.2 ppt. BPA was detected between 0.6 and 15.4 ppt. Estrogenic potential of extracts from fish brain tissue was tested via Bromodeoxyuridine MCF-7 analysis and paired with HPLC-MS to investigate the presence of xenoestrogens. All samples were non-detectable for parabens. BPA was detected in 44 of the 58 samples, with a range from non-detectable to 120 pg/g. BCFs were calculated. Results were statistically significant for location of capture (p < 0.05) and correlation existed between estrogenicity and BPA.

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