In vitro endocrine activity screening of waste and river waters from the Brussels Region, Belgium using the BG1Luc4E2 CALUX Bioassay

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

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


Presence of endocrine disrupting or active chemicals in waterways is an ever growing global problem as evidenced by the WFD (2013/39/EU) who prioritized some model estrogenic chemicals into their watch list. Analyzing these substances typically involves separation chromatography coupled to mass detection at high cost per sample. However, performing a first screening of water samples using in vitro assays that detect endocrine selective ligands can help prioritize monitoring sites at lower cost. We therefore studied a highly impacted and urbanized river (Zenne River, Brussels, Belgium) that is composed of up to 50% in WWTP effluent downstream. We collected river water and influent and effluent of 2 major WWTPs (North and South) discharging to the river and a hospital effluent in order to gain more knowledge on their fate upon reaching this urban river. To accomplish this we collected water samples on a monthly basis during 1 year, performed SPE clean-up on the dissolved water
phase, and analyzed these extracts using the BG1Luc4E2 in vitro transactivational bioassay to detect endocrine agonist activity. Concentrations
of activity (BEQs) are reported as mass E2-equivalent concentrations. One of the most interesting features observed is that activity levels in the river tend to increase along the flow of the river, ranging from 1.34ng E2-eq./L to 3.80ng E2-eq./L at the most downstream site. Effluent levels of the two WWTPs (1.47 and 2.55ng E2-eq./L) displayed similar activity, but are able to drive activity variations depending on the river flow and their relative contribution there to. Influent values of the WWTPs and hospital ranged 1 to 2 orders of magnitude higher and pose real concern when untreated wastewaters are released into the river during combined sewer overflow events, which occur frequently in this water system and urban area. Furthermore, by implementing this monitoring program we obtained (annual averaged) in vitro activity results that surpass the
limits proposed by the EU WFD (0.4ng/L for E2 and 0.035ng/L for EE2). Keeping in mind there is no clear-cut extrapolation or correlation between these effect-directed analyses and the chemically based limits, our results indicate this river system is highly impacted with endocrine activity and the responsible agents need characterization.
Originele taal-2English
TitelSETAC Orlando Abstract Book
SubtitelFostering Environmental Science for an Ever-Changing World
Aantal pagina's1
StatusPublished - 6 nov 2016
EvenementSETAC North America 37 annual meeting/ 7th SETAC World Congress - Orlando, Florida, United Staes, Orlando, United States
Duur: 6 nov 201610 nov 2016

Publicatie series

NaamSETAC Annual Meeting
ISSN van geprinte versie1087-8939


ConferenceSETAC North America 37 annual meeting/ 7th SETAC World Congress
Land/RegioUnited States
Internet adres


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