Physiochemical Characterization of Steroid Hormones in Soil

Part of the Emerging Topics in Ecotoxicology book series (ETEP, volume 1)


Laboratory studies on the fate and transport of reproductive, steroidal hormones and their primary metabolites indicate that aqueous concentrations are short-lived, where dissipation half-lives are on the order of a few hours or days. Dissipation of hormones is caused by i) binding or sorption to the soil and ii) degradation. Sorption of both androgenic and estrogenic hormones occurs predominantly in the organic fraction of the soil and is very rapid through time. Hormone degradation is controlled predominantly by the biological activity of the soil. Hormones will persist in soil where the biological activity is low, such as sterilized or cool low-oxygen soils. Laboratory soil column studies have also indicated that mobility of androgenic and estrogenic hormones is limited, where little will escape the top 5 cm of soil.


Humic Acid Fulvic Acid Soil Column Intact Soil Estrogenic Hormone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Barber LS, Brown GK, Kolpin DW, Writer JH, Zaugg SD (2000) A reconnaissance for hormone compounds in the surface waters of the United States, p. 48, In: Wilde FD, Britton LJ, Miller CV, Koplin DW (eds) Effects of animal feeding operations on water resources and the environment. Proceedings of the technical meeting, Fort Collins, CO, Aug 30–Sept 1, 1999, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-204. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, p 48Google Scholar
  2. Casey FXM, Larsen GL, Hakk HH, Šimůnek J (2003) Fate and transport of 17β-estradiol in soil-water systems. Environ Sci Technol 37:2400–2409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Casey FXM, Hakk H, Šimůnek J, Larsen GL (2004). Fate and transport of testosterone in agricultural soils. Environ Sci Technol 38:790–798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Casey FXM, Šimůnek J, Lee J, Hakk H, Larsen GL (2005) Sorption, mobility, and transformation of estrogenic hormones in natural soil. J Environ Qual 34:1372–1379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Colucci MS, Topp E (2002) Dissipation of part-per-trillion concentrations of estrogenic hormones from agricultural soils. Can J Soil Sci 82:335–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Colucci MS, Bork H, Topp E (2001) Persistence of estrogenic hormones in agricultural soils: I. 17β-Estradiol and estrone. J Environ Qual 30:2070–2076CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Das BS, Lee LS, Rao PSC, Hultgren RP (2004). Sorption and degradation of steroid hormones in soils during transport column studies and model evaluation. Environ Sci Technol 38:1460–1470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fan Z, Casey FXM, Hakk H, Larsen GL (2008). Modeling coupled degradation, sorption, and transport of 17β-estradiol in undisturbed soil. Water Resour Res 44:W08424, DOI 10.1029/2007WR006407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fan Z, Casey FXM, Larsen GL, Hakk H (2007a) Persistence and fate of 17β-estradiol and testosterone in agricultural soils. Chemosphere 67:886–895CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fan Z, Casey FXM, Hakk H, Larsen GL (2007b) Discerning the fate and transport of testosterone in undisturbed soil: model development and experimental evaluation. J Environ Qual 36:864–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hemmings SNJ, Hartel PG (2006) Mineralization of hormones in breeder and broiler litters at different water potentials and temperatures. J Environ Qual 35:701–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Holthaus KIE, Johnson AC, Jurgens MD, Williams RJ, Smith JJL, Carter JE (2002) The potential for estradiol and ethinylestradiol to sorb to suspended and bed sediments in some English rivers. Environ Toxicol Chem 21:2526–2535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jacobsen A, Lorenzen A, Chapman R, Topp E (2005) Persistence of testosterone and 17β-estradiol in soils receiving swine manure or municipal biosolids. J Environ Qual 34:861–871CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Joss A, Andersen H, Ternes T, Richle PR, Siegrist H (2004) Removal of estrogens in municipal wastewater treatment under aerobic and anaerobic conditions: consequences for plant optimization. Environ Sci Technol 38:3047–3055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jürgens MD, Holthaus KIE, Johnson AC, Smith JJL, Hetheridge M, Williams RJ (2002) Environ Toxicol Chem 21:480–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kaplan DL, Kaplan AM (1982) Thermophilic biotransformations of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene under simulated composting conditions. Appl Environ Microbiol 35:949–954Google Scholar
  17. Kim I, Yu Z, Xiao B, Huang W (2007) Sorption of male hormones by soils and sediments. Environ Toxicol Chem 26:264–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Koplin DW, Furlong ET, Meyer MT, Thurman EM, Zaugg SD, Barber LB, Buxton HT (2002) Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999–2000: a national reconnaissance. Environ Sci Technol 36:1202–1211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lai KL, Johnson LK, Scrimshaw MD, Lester JN (2000) Binding of waterborne steroid estrogens to solid phases in river and estuarine systems. Environ Sci Technol 34:3890–3894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Layton AC, Gregory BW, Seward JR, Schultz TW, Sayler GS (2000) Mineralization of steroidal hormones by biosolids in wastewater treatment systems in Tennessee U.S.A. Environ Sci Technol 34:3925–3931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lee S, Strock TJ, Sarmah AK, Rao PSC (2003) Sorption and dissipation of testosterone, and estrogens, and their primary transformation products in soils and sediments. Environ Sci Technol 37:4098–4105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lorenzen A, Chapman R, Hendel JG, Topp E (2005) Persistence and pathways of testosterone dissipation in agricultural soil. J Environ Qual 34:854–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mansell J, Drewes JE (2004) Fate of steroidal hormones during soil-aquifer treatment. Ground Water Monit Remed 24:94–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mansell J, Drewes JE, Rauch T (2004) Removal mechanisms of endocrine disrupting compounds (steroids) during soil aquifer treatment. Water Sci Technol 50:229–237Google Scholar
  25. Núñez FAA, Yalkowsky SH (1997) Correlation between log P and ClogP for some steroids. J Pharm Sci 86:1187–1189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schicksnus T, Müller-Goymann CC (2000) 17β-Estradiol solubility in aqueous systems – influence of ionic strength, pH and adsorption to packaging material. Arch Pharm Pharm Med Chem 333:66Google Scholar
  27. Sugaya Y, Yoshiba T, Kajima T, Ishihama Y (2002) Development of solubility screening methods in drug discovery. Yakugaku Zasshi 122:237–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yu Z, Xiao B, Huang W, Peng P (2004) Sorption of steroid estrogens to soils and sediments. Environ Toxicol Chem 23:531–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

Personalised recommendations