INVESTIGATING COMPOSTING AS A METHOD FOR REDUCING ESTROGENICTY IN POULTRY LITTER AND BIOSOLIDS
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Biosolids and poultry litter contain the natural estrogens 17β-estradiol and estrone, which can be transported to receiving waters via runoff when these materials are used as fertilizers. Estrogens are of concern because of their ability to act as endocrine disruptors and feminize fish. In this study, In-Vessel Aerated and Turned composting was investigated for its efficacy at mitigating estrogen concerns in BS and PL. Pre- and post- composted, BS and PL samples were investigated for total estrogenicity and estrogen species concentrations. In addition, conversion of estrone to 17β-estradiol was investigated by measuring the creation of deuterated 17β-estradiol from a deuterium-labeled estrone stock within aqueous PL mixtures. Data from these studies indicates that there may be efficacy in composting BS and PL prior to land application and suggest that estrone is capable of converting to the more potent 17β-estradiol species as a result of entering microbially active environments.