Assessment of the Reproductive-Endocrine Disrupting Potential of Chlorine Dioxide Oxidation Products of Plant Sterols
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This study examined the hypothesis that chlorine dioxide bleaching used in pulp and paper production causes the formation of reproductive-endocrine disrupting compounds from plant sterols. This was tested by conducting a laboratory simulation of the chlorine dioxide oxidation of two plant sterols, ⭳itosterol and stigmasterol. Oxidation products of the plant sterol ⭳itosterol were purified and identified and found to be cholestan-24-ethyl-3-one, 4-cholestene-24-ethyl-3-one, and 4-cholestene-24-ethyl-3,6- dione. The first two compounds were found in a number of pulp and paper effluents and biosolids. The sterols and their oxidation products were tested in vitro using bioassays for androgenicity and estrogenicity. A 28 d in vivo bioassay was employed to examine masculinization in female mosquitofish. In vitro bioassays revealed little estrogenic activity in the parent sterols or in mixtures of their oxidation products. Androgenic activity as measured by the androgen receptor binding bioassay was in the order of 19-96 �g testosterone equivalents but with no increase or decrease with chlorine dioxide oxidation. The mosquitofish bioassay did not show significant masculinization for any of the preparations tested. A number of androstane steroids were identified in the sterols tested, however, those compounds could only account for a small fraction of the androgenic activity in the sterols. It was clear that the parent sterols were not themselves acting as androgens in the bioassays used. This study indicated that chlorine dioxide oxidation of sterols produced predominantly oxidized sterols that were not likely to act through androgenic or estrogenic mechanisms.
Environmental Science & Technology
Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)