Estrogen and Progesterone in Waterways

In the last post, I was speculating about how estrogens from effluent might end up in way water ways and end up increasing the incidence of prostate cancer. I wondered if the problem (if it there is anything more than a chance association) might be progesterone from birth control pills rather than estrogen. Progesterone is markedly non-soluble in water so it seemed unlikely at first thought. Poking around a little, progesterone might end up in sewage effluent after all. The three studies below report on fecal and/or urinary progesterone, conjugated progesterone or “progesterone metabolites” in animals. So . . . maybe progesterone contamination of water might be relevant. And, not all sewage is filtered and treated. I recently watched someone emptying a truckload of portapotties into one of our local creeks. (Yes, I called the police, who told me it was not their problem.) Don’t know if anyone has looked at this or not. If you know, please have at it in comments.

deCatanzaro D, Muir C, Beaton EA, & Jetha M (2004). Non-invasive repeated measurement of urinary progesterone, 17beta-estradiol, and testosterone in developing, cycling, pregnant, and postpartum female mice. Steroids, 69 (10), 687-96 PMID: 15465115Kinoshita K, Inada S, Seki K, Sasaki A, Hama N, & Kusunoki H (2011). Long-term monitoring of fecal steroid hormones in female snow leopards (Panthera uncia) during pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. PloS one, 6 (5) PMID: 21559303Brown JL, Wasser SK, Wildt DE, & Graham LH (1994). Comparative aspects of steroid hormone metabolism and ovarian activity in felids, measured noninvasively in feces. Biology of reproduction, 51 (4), 776-86 PMID: 7819459google-site-verification: googleaa234ad89e44d776.html

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