Acta Vet. Brno 2009, 78: 313-317

Estrogenic Profile of the Svratka and Svitava Rivers in the Brno Area

Tomáš Nekvapil1, Ivana Borkovcová2, Miriam Smutná1, Zdeňka Svobodová3

1Department of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Biophysics,
2Department of Milk and Dairy Products,
3Department of Veterinary Public Health and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Czech Republic

Received May 19, 2008
Accepted October 1, 2008

Estrogens are chemical compounds considered to be endocrine disruptors. They are thought to affect the endocrine system even at low concentrations found in water (ng l-1). The aim of this work was to determine estrogenic compound levels in the rivers in the Brno area. The concentration of 17β-estradiol, ethynylestradiol, estrone and diethylstilbestrol was estimated in the water samples collected in the Svratka and Svitava rivers. Estrogens were isolated from the samples using solid-phase extraction with Oasis HLB cartridges and determined by means of reversed phase HPLC with UV detection. The detection limit of the method used was 6 ng l-1, repeatability expressed as RSD was 11%, and recovery was 87 - 103%. Estrogen values detected ranged in the interval of 6-209 ng l-1, depending on the sampling site. After treatment in the sewage water treatment plant, the water displayed markedly lower levels of estrogenic compounds. The results of the experiment demonstrate that HPLC-UV is a suitable method for determination of low concentrations of estrogens in water. The sewage water treatment plant reduces concentrations of estrogens but not sufficiently to prevent their estrogenic effect on fish.