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Androgens and androgenic activity in broiler manure assessed by means of chemical analyses and in vitro bioassays

Valdehita, Ana, Fernández‐Cruz, María‐Luisa, González‐Gullón, María Isabel, Becerra‐Neira, Eduardo, Delgado, María Mar, García‐González, Mari Cruz, Navas, José María
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2017 v.36 no.7 pp. 1746-1754
agricultural land, androgen receptors, androstenedione, bioassays, chemical analysis, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, farms, groundwater, leachates, leaching, long term effects, poultry manure, research, soil, steroid hormones
The use of manure as an agricultural amendment is increasing the release of steroid hormones into the environment. Most research in this field has focused on estrogenic phenomena, with less attention paid to androgenic substances. The present study assessed androgenic activity in broiler manure using in vitro approaches based on cells stably transfected with androgen receptor. Leaching experiments were also performed to observe whether endocrine disruptors present in manure pass through a soil column and potentially reach groundwater. In parallel, an analytical chemistry method was used to determine the contribution of the most important natural androgens to androgenicity. Samplings were performed at 4 farms in 2 seasons. All but 2 samples showed androgen activity. In leakage experiments, however, no androgenic activity was detectable in leachates or in soils after leaching. According to the analytical results, androgenicity can be attributed mainly (but not completely) to androstenedione, and dihydrotestosterone. Similarly to the bioassays, chemical analysis did not reveal the presence of any androgen in leachates or soils. These results point to a rapid degradation of the substances responsible for androgenic activity in soils under the experimental conditions of the present study. However, the long‐term effects associated with the constant and intensive application of manure to agricultural land require further attention. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1746–1754. © 2016 SETAC