Aerobic biodegradation potential of endocrine disrupting chemicals in surface‐water sediment at Rocky Mountains National Park, USA
Courtesy of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) in surface water and bed sediment threaten the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. In natural, remote, and protected surface‐water environments where contaminant releases are sporadic, contaminant biodegradation is a fundamental driver of exposure concentration, timing, duration, and, thus, EDC ecological risk. Anthropogenic contaminants, including known and suspected EDC, were detected in surface water and sediment collected from 2 streams and 2 lakes in Rocky Mountains National Park (ROMO). The potential for aerobic EDC biodegradation was assessed in collected sediments using 6 14C‐radiolabeled model compounds. Aerobic microbial mineralization of natural (estrone and 17β‐estradiol) and synthetic (17α‐ethinylestradiol) estrogen was significant at all sites. ROMO bed sediment microbial communities also effectively degraded the xenoestrogens, bisphenol‐A and 4‐nonylphenol. The same sediment samples exhibited little potential for aerobic biodegradation of triclocarban, however, illustrating the need to assess a wider range of contaminant compounds. The current results support recent concerns over the widespread environmental occurrence of carbanalide antibacterials, like triclocarban and triclosan, and suggest that backcountry use of products containing these compounds should be discouraged. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved