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Endocrinology. 2014 Mar;155(3):897-907. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1697. Epub 2013 Jan 1.

Estrogen and androgen receptor activities of hydraulic fracturing chemicals and surface and ground water in a drilling-dense region.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health and Division of Biological Sciences (C.D.K., A.M.H., S.C.N.), University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211; US Geological Survey (D.E.T.), Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, Missouri 65201; and Departments of Statistics and Health Management and Informatics (J.W.D.), University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211.

Erratum in

Abstract

The rapid rise in natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing increases the potential for contamination of surface and ground water from chemicals used throughout the process. Hundreds of products containing more than 750 chemicals and components are potentially used throughout the extraction process, including more than 100 known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals. We hypothesized that a selected subset of chemicals used in natural gas drilling operations and also surface and ground water samples collected in a drilling-dense region of Garfield County, Colorado, would exhibit estrogen and androgen receptor activities. Water samples were collected, solid-phase extracted, and measured for estrogen and androgen receptor activities using reporter gene assays in human cell lines. Of the 39 unique water samples, 89%, 41%, 12%, and 46% exhibited estrogenic, antiestrogenic, androgenic, and antiandrogenic activities, respectively. Testing of a subset of natural gas drilling chemicals revealed novel antiestrogenic, novel antiandrogenic, and limited estrogenic activities. The Colorado River, the drainage basin for this region, exhibited moderate levels of estrogenic, antiestrogenic, and antiandrogenic activities, suggesting that higher localized activity at sites with known natural gas-related spills surrounding the river might be contributing to the multiple receptor activities observed in this water source. The majority of water samples collected from sites in a drilling-dense region of Colorado exhibited more estrogenic, antiestrogenic, or antiandrogenic activities than reference sites with limited nearby drilling operations. Our data suggest that natural gas drilling operations may result in elevated endocrine-disrupting chemical activity in surface and ground water.

PMID:
24424034
DOI:
10.1210/en.2013-1697
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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