EDC activity in hospital, WWTP effluent, and river waters from the Brussels Region, Belgium

Kersten Van Langenhove, Tim Reyns, Tara Vandermarken, Servais Pierre, Michael S. Denison, Joris Van Loco, Marc Elskens

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are gaining in worldwide attention due to their omnipresence, wide range in chemical properties and possible effects on wildlife populations. Problems with these EDCs are their continuous release into the environment (industrial, domestic, inefficient removal). For this reason, the Water Framework Directive (WFD, amended in 2013/39/EU) established a priority list of 33 new and 8 previously regulated chemical pollutants and, in addition, 15 compounds were also placed onto a watch list containing estrogen compounds (estradiol, ethinylestradiol). Octyl-, nonylphenol, DEHP, among others have shown to exhibit endocrine disrupting potential.
Rather than looking solely for concentrations of targeted and well-known EDCs, this project strives to combine bio-analytical and chemo-analytical data on the Zenne river crossing Brussels and hospital effluents (a potential major source for EDCs due to high consumption of pharmaceuticals and personal care products) for the first time. Bioassays allow scientists to use in vitro receptor models to assess endocrine activity by comparing the mixture or cocktail effect originating from the sample extract. Added value is that this technique picks up effects from compounds that are not routinely monitored in targeted chemo-analytical methods and can detect them at low amounts (pg/L EEQ, Estrogen EQuivalence).
The bioassay used in this study is the CALUX (Chemically activated luciferase gene expression) bioassay using a luciferase reporter gene as part of BG1luc4E2 cells (human ovarian adenocarcinoma). Responses are time, dose, and ligand specific using 17β-estradiol (the natural female hormone) as reference compound. Water samples were taken as grab samples over various locations upstream and downstream of the Zenne River and in a hospital nearby; 24h composite samples were collected in Brussels WWTP South (in- and effluent). Samples were filtered and extracted using Oasis HLB SPE columns.
Values ranged from 0.77 to 1.85ng EEQ/L for the Zenne river water, 98ng EEQ/L for hospital effluent and, respectively, 52.3 and 1.2ng EEQ/L for WWTP influent and effluent. For comparison reasons, commercial drinking waters amount to 0.004-0.070 ng EEQ/L. These results indicate that effluent values are high post-discharge of human activities, EDCs are only partially removed by processes in WWTPs, and that the effluents contribute significantly to EDC loads in the Zenne river.
Originele taal-2English
TitelSETAC Salt Lake City Abstract Book
SubtitelBuzzing with science - Cross-polination for environmental progress
Aantal pagina's1
StatusPublished - 15 okt 2015
EvenementSETAC North America 36 annual meeting - Salt Palaca Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Duur: 1 nov 20155 nov 2015

Publicatie series

NaamSETAC Annual Meeting
ISSN van geprinte versie1087-8939


ConferenceSETAC North America 36 annual meeting
Land/RegioUnited States
StadSalt Lake City, Utah


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'EDC activity in hospital, WWTP effluent, and river waters from the Brussels Region, Belgium'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit