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Occurrence and pathways of manure-borne 17β-estradiol in vadose zone water

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The hormone 17β-estradiol (E2) can cause endocrine disruption in sensitive species at part per trillion concentrations. The persistence and transport pathways of manure-borne E2 in agricultural soils were determined by comparing its occurrence with the transfer of water and the transport of non-sorbing fluorobenzoic acid (FBA) tracers. This comparison was done using capillary wick lysimeters installed 0.61 m beneath three corn (Zea mays L.) plots that receive swine (Sus scrofa domesticus) manure from various sources. An additional control plot was included that received no manure. Soil water transfer was modeled to compare actual versus predicted percolation. On average, lysimeters collected 61% of the expected percolation and 8% of the FBA. There were frequent E2 detections, where there were an average of 8 detections for the 11 sample events. The average detection was 21 ng L-1 and its range was 1-245 ng L-1. 17β-Estradiol was detected before manure was applied and also in the control plot lysimeters. Furthermore, the average mass recovery of E2 in all the lysimeters was >50%, which was greater than the FBA tracer recovery. Results indicated that tracer was transported with precipitated water infiltrating into the soil surface and percolating down through the soil profile. There was substantial evidence for antecedent E2, which was persistent and mobile. The persistence and mobility of the E2 may result from its associations with colloids, such as dissolved organic matter. Furthermore, this antecedent E2 appeared to overwhelm any observable effect of manure management on E2 fate and transport.
Thompson, Michael L. , Casey, Francis X.M. , Khan, Eakalak , Hakk, Heldur , Larsen, Gerald L. , DeSutter, Thomas
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Chemosphere 2009 July, v. 76, issue 4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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