Superfund Research Program
Development of Novel Bioassay/Biomarker Systems for Detection of Estrogen Agonists in Complex Mixtures
Project Leader: John P. Giesy
Grant Number: P42ES004911
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000
- Project Summary
Previously, several novel in vitro assay systems were developed using fish and mammalian cells for the rapid, sensitive identification of complex mixtures of "estrogenic" or "anti-estrogenic" compounds in surface waters and fish tissues. More recently, solid phase extraction, fractionation and instrumental quantitation techniques have been developed to assess "estrogenic" or "anti-estrogenic" activity of complex mixtures using bioassay-directed instrumental analyses. These techniques are currently being validated. The protocol developed uses these instrumental analyses in a Toxicity Identification and Evaluation (TIE) approach to establish a mass balance which provides the data necessary to determine whether all the possible "estrogenic" compounds have been identified.
During the past year, the total estrogenic potential of complex mixtures from hazardous waste sites were determined. In addition, the individual compounds in these mixtures have been identified. Further, the protocol described above has been used in a monitoring TIE scheme focused on surface waters in Michigan. The "estrogenic" and "dioxin-like" potential of a number of point sources, including waste water treatment plants, industries and hazardous waste sites were determined. Some of the most active responses to the bioassays were found at a hazardous waste site on the Detroit River. These assays will continue to be developed and applied and will help to assess the relative contributions of hazardous waste sites to endocrine disrupting activity in the aquatic environment.