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Endocrine disrupting activities of surface water associated with an oil and gas industry wastewater disposal site

Sign: Danger - Hazardous wasteBecause of key data gaps that exist in understanding the potential impact of underground injection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater on surface water quality and environmental health the goal of this study was to assess endocrine disrupting activity in surface water at a West Virginia injection well disposal site.
Compared to reference water extracts upstream and distal to the disposal well, samples collected adjacent to and downstream of injection wells exhibited considerably higher antagonist activity for the estrogen, androgen, progesterone, glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone receptors.
Given the widespread use of injection wells for end-disposal of hydraulic fracturing wastewater, these data raise concerns for human and animal health nearby.

Key findings:

  • Oil and gas wastewater disposal may increase endocrine disrupting activity in water.
  • Tested EDC activity in surface water near oil and gas wastewater injection site.
  • Water downstream had significantly more EDC activity than reference water upstream.
  • Downstream surface water antagonized five different nuclear hormone receptors.
  • EDC activity downstream was above levels known to result in adverse health effects.

Bibliography:
Christopher D. Kassotis¹, , Luke R. Iwanowicz², Denise M. Akob³, Isabelle M. Cozzarelli³, Adam C. Mumford³, William H. Orem4, Susan C. Nagel5
Endocrine disrupting activities of surface water associated with a West Virginia oil and gas industry wastewater disposal site
Science of The Total Environment, In Press, Corrected Proof
doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.113
Received 27 January 2016, Revised 15 March 2016, Accepted 16 March 2016, Available online 10 April 2016

¹ Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
² U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center, Fish Health Branch, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, WV 25430, USA
³ U.S. Geological Survey, National Research Program, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 430, Reston, VA 20192, USA
U.S. Geological Survey, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 956, Reston, VA 20192, USA
5 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

See also:
Jeff Sossamon, Oil And Gas Wastewater Disposal May Increase Endocrine Disrupting Activity In Surface Water And Harm West Virginia Waterways. Water online, April 6, 2016

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