Comparison of five in vitro bioassays to measure estrogenic activity in environmental waters
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Bioassays are well established in the pharmaceutical industry and single compound analysis, but there is still uncertainty about their usefulness in environmental monitoring.Wecompared the responses of five bioassays designed to measure estrogenic activity (the yeast estrogen screen, ER-CALUX, MELN,T47D-KBluc,andE-SCREENassays)andchemical analysis on extracts from four different water sources (groundwater, raw sewage, treated sewage, and river water). All five bioassays displayed similar trends and there was good agreement with analytical chemistry results. The data from the ER-CALUX and E-SCREEN bioassays were robust and predictable, and wellcorrelated with predictions from chemical analysis. The T47DKBluc appeared likewise promising, but with a more limited sample size it was less compelling. The YES assay was less sensitive than the other assays by an order of magnitude, which resulted in a larger number of nondetects. The MELN assay was less predictable, although the possibility that this was due to laboratory-specific difficulties cannot be discounted. With standardized bioassay data analysis and consistency of operating protocols, bioanalytical tools are a promising advance in the development of a tiered approach to environmental water quality monitoring.
Environmental Science & Technology
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