GEOGRAPHY

For the first time, scholars have systematically elucidated the source-sink pattern of progesterone in the estuarine environment


Recently, Xu Xiangrong, a researcher at the Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bioresources and Ecology of the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has made new progress in the study of the characteristics of multi-media allocation and source-sink pattern of steroid hormones and their metabolites in the estuarine environment, and systematically elucidated the source-sink pattern of progesterone in the estuarine environment for the first time. The results were published in the journal Hazardous Materials.

Steroids are a classic endocrine disruptor. Estuaries connect land and sea and are “sinks” of various land-based pollutants. Previous research has focused on the parent compounds of steroid hormones. Therefore, it is particularly important to study the distribution characteristics and source-sink pattern of steroid hormones and their metabolites in the estuarine environment.

Schematic diagram of source-sink pattern of estuarine environmental steroids and their metabolites. Photo courtesy of the research team

Xu Ru, the first author of the paper and a doctoral student at the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the study used in situ investigation and model simulation for the first time to explore the spatiotemporal distribution, distribution behavior and source-sink pattern of various steroid hormones and their metabolites in the estuarine environment, revealing that a large amount of progesterone in the estuarine environment will eventually migrate to the South China Sea, which undoubtedly increases the risk to marine life.

Studies have found that steroid hormones and their metabolites are prevalent in the estuarine environment. It is worth noting that metabolites predominate in water, which suggests that metabolites should be taken seriously, otherwise their threat to aquatic life will be seriously underestimated. The hydrophobicity of the target compounds and environmental factors (temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and total organic carbon content) regulate the multi-media distribution of steroid hormones and their metabolites in the estuarine environment.

The study also highlights the important role of the natural progesterone progesterone in estimating contamination levels of steroid hormones and their metabolites in different environmental mediators (particulate matter, water and sediments) in estuaries.

“Based on the improved multi-environmental media mass conservation box model, we systematically elucidate the source-sink pattern of progesterone in the estuarine environment for the first time. Xu Xiangrong, co-corresponding author of the paper, said that this study provides new insights into the multi-media distribution process and environmental fate of steroid hormones and their metabolites in the estuarine environment, and can provide important support for the formulation of sound environmental management policies for steroid hormone pollution in estuaries. (Source: China Science News, Zhu Hanbin, Xie Wenyan)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.132673



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