John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Sources of endocrine disrupting compounds in North Carolina waterways: A geographic information systems approach

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The presence of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), particularly estrogenic compounds, in the environment has drawn public attention across the globe, yet we currently lack a clear understanding of the extent and distribution of estrogenic EDCs in surface waters and their relationship to potential sources. The objective of our study was to identify and examine the potential input of estrogenic EDC sources in North Carolina waterbodies using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and analysis approach. Existing data from state and federal agencies were used to create point and nonpoint source maps depicting the cumulative contribution of potential sources of estrogenic EDCs to North Carolina surface waters. Water was collected from 33 sites (12 associated with potential point sources, 12 associated with potential nonpoint sources and 9 reference), to validate the predictive results of our GIS analysis. Estrogenicity (measured as 17β‐estradiol equivalence; EEQ) ranged from 0.06 to 56.9 ng/L. However, the majority of our sites (88%) had water EEQ concentrations below 1 ng/L. Sites associated with point and nonpoint sources had significantly higher EEQ levels than reference sites. Results suggested that water EEQ was reflective of GIS predictions, confirming the relevance of landscape‐level influences on water quality and validating our GIS approach to characterize such relationships. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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