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Alkylphenols, Alkylphenolethoxylates and Their Metabolites (APEs) as Potential Great Lakes, Tributaries, and Effluent Dominated Stream Endocrine Disrupters.

Project Purpose:
Purpose: To conduct a survey of the concentration and assess some of the endocrine effect endpoints in the fish of alkylphenols, alkylphenolethoxylates and their metabolites in water of the upper Midwest, especially those in Chicago and Detroit and including Lake Trout. Also sediment concentrations were determined at each of the sampling locations. The emphasis in the river sampling was to emphasize collections from waters that were effluent-dominated, e.g., North Branch of the Chicago, Des Plains River, Grand Calumet River, Mississippi River at St. Paul Metro Plant. An analytical goal was to develop a multi-residue method to quantitatively measure the nonylphenol and its ethoxylates from NP to NP5EO and the octylphenol and its ethoxylates from OP to OP5EO in these samples.

Project Description(s):
Once an adequate method was devised, the approach was to sample sufficient male and female carp at each site to attempt to correlate concentrations of the alkylphenols to selected endocrine effect endpoints (vitellogenin, hormones (estradiol and testosterone) and possible histological effects if revealed). A control site along the coast of the Lake Huron was sampled for comparisons. Carp and Bass were the species sampled.

Project Outcomes:
An acceptable method was developed that recovered nonylphenol and np-ethoxylates and octylphenol and op-ethoxylates up to the 5 ethoxylates from field collected fish samples.

Also a method was provided that yielded standards for the higher ethoxylates, nps and ops from 3 to 5. The procedures for NPs and OPs utilized isotope dilution and a LC/MS-MS method for quantitation that provided very low detection limits. From a biological perspective, suggestions of vitellogenin induction were indicated; however, other endocrine active compounds, that were not measured, could also be involved.

Marc Tuchman at tuchman.marc@epa.gov

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