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2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 2:00pm - 2:40pm
Instrumental analysis of biologicals from natural water sources

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The French Broad River (FBR) serves as the home to several endangered species, raising concern due to the possible presence of endocrine-active compounds (EAC). EACs in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent have shown to affect stages of sexual development in several aquatic species. In collaboration with the French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson, and supervised by Dr. John Brock, we will quantify the EAC concentration in WWTP effluent in Asheville, NC. Research has shown that exposure to EACs in WWTP effluent has induced the feminization of fathead minnows, in Ontario, Canada, resulting in a decline of fertilization success; continued decline could lead to extinction (Kidd et al. 2007). EACs have not been measured in the FBR, and we are the first to produce results for EACs. Endocrine-active compounds likely to be found in the FBR include: phthalates, estrogen, bisphenol a (BPA), and nonylphenols (NP). Currently, we have successfully detected multiple phthalate metabolites though the use of a Shimadzu Liquid Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer-8040 (LCMS). Phthalates are used in many personal care products (PCP), and we hypothesize that the amount of phthalates being released from WWTP effluent can be associated with the time of day. Considering PCPs are commonly used in the mornings and before going to bed, we suggest that there may be a spike in concentration at those times. Upon completion of the EAC analysis, the information acquired will describe the effectiveness of WWTP processes in removal of EACs, and increase awareness in the community for environmental sustainability.

 


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Tuesday December 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:40pm
014 Zeis Hall