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Measurement of free and conjugated estrogens in a cattle farm-farmland system by UHPLC–MS/MS

Abstract

A highly selective and sensitive method for the simultaneous extraction, separation, and detection of free and conjugated estrogens was developed employing SPE-UHPLC–MS/MS. The solid-phase extraction procedure for water samples was developed and further optimized for the urine samples. For the solid samples, extraction procedures were established for soil samples and feces samples, respectively. Then, the developed method was applied to the analysis of free and conjugated estrogens in a cattle farm-farmland system. Samples including urine and feces from different kinds of cattle and the soils samples from farmland fertilized with cattle waste were collected. The results showed that different concentrations of free and conjugated estrogens could be detected in the urine and feces of cattle, including calves, heifers and lactating cows. The cattle excreted most estrogens in their conjugated forms, and the glucuronide conjugates were the dominant form. After the land application of cattle waste, only a few target analytes were detected in the soil samples at relatively low concentrations. Only E2-3S was detected in the soil samples 2 weeks after the land application of feces, and none of the target analytes were detected in the soil samples 4 weeks after the land application of feces.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21607105) and the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2017ZX07207002).

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Correspondence to Hongchang Zhang.

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Zhang, H., Hu, S., Wang, Z. et al. Measurement of free and conjugated estrogens in a cattle farm-farmland system by UHPLC–MS/MS. Chem. Pap. 75, 365–375 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-020-01298-9

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Keywords

  • Estrogen
  • Conjugates
  • Urine
  • Feces
  • Soil