Biodegradation and attenuation of steroidal hormones and alkylphenols by stream biofilms and sediments

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 



Biodegradation of select endocrine-disrupting compounds (17β-estradiol, estrone, 17α-ethynylestradiol, 4-nonylphenol, 4-nonylphenolmonoexthoylate, and 4-nonylphenoldiethoxylate) was evaluated in stream biofilm, sediment, and water matrices collected from locations upstream and downstream from a wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge. Both biologically mediated transformation to intermediate metabolites and biologically mediated mineralization were evaluated in separate time interval experiments. Initial time intervals (0–7 d) evaluated biodegradation by the microbial community dominant at the time of sampling. Later time intervals (70 and 185 d) evaluated the biodegradation potential as the microbial community adapted to the absence of outside energy sources. The sediment matrix was more effective than the biofilm and water matrices at biodegrading 4-nonylphenol and 17β-estradiol. Biodegradation by the sediment matrix of 17α-ethynylestradiol occurred at later time intervals (70 and 185 d) and was not observed in the biofilm or water matrices. Stream biofilms play an important role in the attenuation of endocrine-disrupting compounds in surface waters due to both biodegradation and sorption processes. Because sorption to stream biofilms and bed sediments occurs on a faster temporal scale (<1 h) than the potential to biodegrade the target compounds (50% mineralization at >185 d), these compounds can accumulate in stream biofilms and sediments.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Biodegradation and attenuation of steroidal hormones and alkylphenols by stream biofilms and sediments
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/es2000134
Volume 45
Issue 10
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Chemical Society
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 7 p.
First page 4370
Last page 4376
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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