This study describes the modification of the ER-Calux assay for testing water samples without sample extraction (NE-(ER-Calux) assay). The results are compared to those obtained with ER-Calux assay and a theoretical estrogenic potential obtained by GC-MSD. For spiked tap and waste water samples there was no statistical difference between estrogenic potentials obtained by the three methods. Application of NE-(ER-Calux) to "real" influent and effluents from municipal waste water treatment plants and receiving surface waters found that the NE-(ER-Calux) assay gave higher values compared to ER-Calux assay and GC-MSD. This is explained by the presence of water soluble endocrine agonists that are usually removed during extraction. Intraday dynamics of the estrogenic potential of a WWTP influent and effluent revealed an increase in the estrogenic potential of the influent from 12.9 ng(EEQ)/L in the morning to a peak value of 40.0 ng(EEQ)/L in the afternoon. The estrogenic potential of the effluent was <LOD (<0.68 ng(EEQ)/L). The overall reduction in estrogenic potential was 92-98%. Daytime estrogenic potential values varied significantly.
Keywords: ER-Calux(®); Estrogenic potential; GC–MSD; No extraction; Waste water.
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