Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 11630–11638 | Cite as

β-Estradiol and ethinyl-estradiol contamination in the rivers of the Carpathian Basin

  • Péter Avar
  • Zita Zrínyi
  • Gábor Maász
  • Anikó Takátsy
  • Sándor Lovas
  • László G.-Tóth
  • Zsolt Pirger
Research Article


17β-Estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE2), which are environmental estrogens, have been determined with LC-MS in freshwater. Their sensitive analysis needs derivatization and therefore is very hard to achieve in multiresidue screening. We analyzed samples from all the large and some small rivers (River Danube, Drava, Mur, Sava, Tisza, and Zala) of the Carpathian Basin and from Lake Balaton. Freshwater was extracted on solid phase and derivatized using dansyl chloride. Separation was performed on a Kinetex XB-C18 column. Detection was achieved with a benchtop orbitrap mass spectrometer using targeted MS analysis for quantification. Limits of quantification were 0.05 ng/L (MS1) and 0.1 ng/L (MS/MS) for E2, and 0.001 ng/L (MS1) and 0.2 ng/L (MS/MS) for EE2. River samples contained n.d.–5.2 ng/L E2 and n.d.–0.68 ng/L EE2. Average levels of E2 and EE2 were 0.61 and 0.084 ng/L, respectively, in rivers, water courses, and Lake Balaton together, but not counting city canal water. EE2 was less abundant, but it was still present in almost all of the samples. In beach water samples from Lake Balaton, we measured 0.076–0.233 E2 and n.d.–0.133 EE2. A relative high amount of EE2 was found in river Zala (0.68 ng/L) and in Hévíz-Páhoki canal (0.52 ng/L), which are both in the catchment area of Lake Balaton (Hungary).


β-Estradiol Ethinyl estradiol Freshwater River Estrogen Steroid 



This work was supported by the state of Hungary under grant OTKA PD-109099.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_6276_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (1.3 mb)
ESM 1 (PPTX 1288 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Péter Avar
    • 1
  • Zita Zrínyi
    • 2
  • Gábor Maász
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anikó Takátsy
    • 1
  • Sándor Lovas
    • 2
  • László G.-Tóth
    • 3
  • Zsolt Pirger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Analytical Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry and Medical ChemistryUniversity of PécsPécsHungary
  2. 2.Adaptive Neuroethology, Department of Experimental ZoologyTihanyHungary
  3. 3.Department of Hydrozoology, Balaton Limnological Institute, MTA Centre for Ecological ResearchTihanyHungary

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