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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment of Environmental Estrogens in Marine


Unregulated organic compounds (aka Pharmaceuticals and the active ingredients in personal care products) have recently been detected in surface and drinking waters throughout the United States. The most biologically potent compounds in this group of compounds are the estrogenic steroids and other estrogen mimicking compounds that target the endocrine systems of fish and wildlife. Little is known about the concentrations or the effects of these compounds on marine fisheries in the United States. Preliminary studies from our laboratories in flatfish collected from Southern California have indicated potential endocrine disruption, as male fish were shown to have equivalent concentrations of blood egg yolk protein as those observed in female fish. The specific aims of this proposal are to identify the concentrations of likely active compounds, as well as potential uncharacterized compounds using a combined analytical chemistry and bioassay approach. The latter method will be used to guide analytical studies toward the identification of causative compounds. The ultimate goal is to target causative compounds and initiate a monitoring program for California which will be the first of its kind in the United States for the presence of these compounds in sediments surrounding marine wastewater treatment outfalls.

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