Degradation kinetics of veterinary antibiotics and estrogenic hormones in a claypan soil

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Veterinary antibiotics and estrogens are excreted in livestock waste before being applied to agricultural lands as fertilizer, resulting in contamination of soil and adjacent waterways. The objectives of this study were to 1) investigate the degradation kinetics of the VAs sulfamethazine and lincomycin and the estrogens estrone and 17β-estradiol in soil mesocosms, and 2) assess the effect of the phytochemical DIBOA-Glu, secreted in eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) roots, on antibiotic degradation due to the ability of DIBOA-Glu to facilitate hydrolysis of atrazine in solution assays. Mesocosm soil was a silt loam representing a typical claypan soil in portions of Missouri and the Central United States. Mesocosms (n = 133) were treated with a single target compound (antibiotic concentrations at 125 ng g−1 dw, estrogen concentrations at 1250 ng g−1 dw); a subset of mesocosms treated with antibiotics were also treated with DIBOA-Glu (12,500 ng g−1 dw); all mesocosms were kept at 60% water-filled pore space and incubated at 25 °C in darkness. Randomly chosen mesocosms were destructively sampled in triplicate for up to 96 days. All targeted compounds followed pseudo first-order degradation kinetics in soil. The soil half-life (t0.5) of sulfamethazine ranged between 17.8 and 30.1 d and ranged between 9.37 and 9.90 d for lincomycin. The antibiotics results showed no significant differences in degradation kinetics between treatments with or without DIBOA-Glu. For estrogens, degradation rates of estrone (t0.5 = 4.71–6.08 d) and 17β-estradiol (t0.5 = 5.59–6.03 d) were very similar; however, results showed that estrone was present as a metabolite in the 17β-estradiol treated mesocosms and vice-versa within 24 h. The antibiotics results suggest that sulfamethazine has a greater potential to persist in soil than lincomycin. The interconversion of 17β-estradiol and estrone in soil increased their overall persistence and sustained soil estrogenicity. This study demonstrates the persistence of these compounds in a typical claypan soil representing portions of the Central United States.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Degradation kinetics of veterinary antibiotics and estrogenic hormones in a claypan soil
Series title Chemosphere
DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.140501
Volume 346
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 140501, 8 p.
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