Endocrine disrupting chemicals in New Orleans surface waters and Mississippi Sound sediments†
Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), represented by steroid hormones, organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and bisphenol A have been determined in four sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico, from New Orleans surface water (Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi River), and from the influent and effluent of a New Orleans municipal sewage treatment plant. During the five-month monitoring of selected EDCs in the Mississippi River (MR) and Lake Pontchartrain (LP) in 2008, 21 of 29 OCPs in MR and 17 of 29 OCPs in LP were detected; bisphenol A was detected in all of the samples. Steroid hormones (estrone, 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol) were detected occasionally. Total EDC (OCPs + PCBs + steroid hormones + bisphenol A) concentrations in the two surface water samples were found to vary from 148 to 1112 ng L−1. Strong correlation of the distribution of total OCPs, total PCBs and total EDCs between solid and water phases was found in LP, while moderate or no correlation existed in MR. OCPs, PCBs, steroid hormones, and bisphenol A were all detected in the ocean sediments, and total EDCs were measured in the range of 77 to 1796 ng g−1 dry sediment weight. The EDCs were also found in untreated and treated municipal sewage samples with a removal efficiency of 83% for OCPs but no removal efficiency for 17α-ethinylestradiol.