Naturally occurring estrogens in animal wastes may cause negative environmental impacts, yet their abundance in animal waste treatment and storage structures is poorly documented. To better quantify estrogen concentra tions in animal wastes, multiple waste samples were collected from treatment and storage structures at dairy and swine facilities and analyzed for concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), and 17α-estradiol by gas chromatography−mass spectroscopy and by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (E2 only). Mass ratios of each estrogen to the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium were also determined. Because manure application rates are typically macronutrient-based, estrogen to macronutrient ratios are proportional to areal mass application rates of estrogen to fields. Swine farrowing waste (from farrowing sows and piglets) had the highest ratios of E2 to macronutrients. Mean ratios in swine farrowing waste were roughly twice those in swine finishing waste (from growing male and nonpregnant female animals) and more than four times higher than those in dairy waste (from lactating cows in various stages of their reproductive cycles); these differences were statistically significant (α = 0.05). Estrone followed a similar trend. In contrast, ratios of 17α-estradiol to macronutrients were highest in dairy operations. These results can be used to better predict estrogen loading rates on fields receiving swine and dairy wastes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/raj_raman/39/