The Presence of 17 Beta-Estradiol in the Environment: Health Effects and Increasing Environmental Concerns

Document Type: Review article

Authors

1 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

Abstract

Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) as active biological compounds can pose a threat to the
environment through acute and chronic toxicity in organisms, accumulation in the ecosystem, and
loss of habitats and biodiversity. They also have a range of possible adverse effects on environmental
and ecological health. Estradiol, as one of the natural estrogenic hormones released by the humans
and livestock, may exert endocrine-disrupting effects on the nanogram-per-liter range and cause
serious problems for the aquatic organisms and animals in many aquatic systems. Various studies
have reported the presence of synthetic estrogens such as 17 alpha-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) and natural
estrogens including 17 beta-estradiol (E2) in wastewater sludge, surface water, river bed sediment,
and also digested and activated sludge. The aim of the present study was to review and evaluate
the endocrine disrupting compounds especially 17 beta-estradiol, as a representative of estrogen
hormones present in the environment and their disturbing effects on humans and wildlife.

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