Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are becoming of increasing concern in waterways of the USA and worldwide. What remains poorly understood, however, is how prevalent these emerging contaminants are in the environment and what methods are best able to determine landscape sources of EDCs. We describe the development of a spatially structured sampling design and a reconnaissance survey of estrogenic activity along gradients of land use within sub-watersheds. We present this example as a useful approach for state and federal agencies with an interest in identifying locations potentially impacted by EDCs that warrant more intensive, focused research. Our study confirms the importance of agricultural activities on levels of a measured estrogenic equivalent (E2Eq) and also highlights the importance of other potential sources of E2Eq in areas where intensive agriculture is not the dominant land use. Through application of readily available geographic information system (GIS) data, coupled with spatial statistical analysis, we demonstrate the correlation of specific land use types to levels of estrogenic activity across a large area in a consistent and unbiased manner.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law