Endocrine disrupting activities and geochemistry of water resources associated with unconventional oil and gas activity

Published on Sep 8, 2020in Science of The Total Environment7.963
· DOI :10.1016/J.SCITOTENV.2020.142236
Christopher D. Kassotis17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Duke University),
Jennifer S. Harkness12
Estimated H-index: 12
(USGS: United States Geological Survey)
+ 10 AuthorsSusan C. Nagel30
Estimated H-index: 30
(MU: University of Missouri)
Sources
Abstract
The rise of hydraulic fracturing and unconventional oil and gas (UOG) exploration in the United States has increased public concerns for water contamination induced from hydraulic fracturing fluids and associated wastewater spills. Herein, we collected surface and groundwater samples across Garfield County, Colorado, a drilling-dense region, and measured endocrine bioactivities, geochemical tracers of UOG wastewater, UOG-related organic contaminants in surface water, and evaluated UOG drilling production (weighted well scores, nearby well count, reported spills) surrounding sites. Elevated antagonist activities for the estrogen, androgen, progesterone, and glucocorticoid receptors were detected in surface water and associated with nearby shale gas well counts and density. The elevated endocrine activities were observed in surface water associated with medium and high UOG production (weighted UOG well score-based groups). These bioactivities were generally not associated with reported spills nearby, and often did not exhibit geochemical profiles associated with UOG wastewater from this region. Our results suggest the potential for releases of low-saline hydraulic fracturing fluids or chemicals used in other aspects of UOG production, similar to the chemistry of the local water, and dissimilar from defined spills of post-injection wastewater. Notably, water collected from certain medium and high UOG production sites exhibited bioactivities well above the levels known to impact the health of aquatic organisms, suggesting that further research to assess potential endocrine activities of UOG operations is warranted.
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#1Susan C. Nagel (MU: University of Missouri)H-Index: 30
#2Christopher D. Kassotis (Duke University)H-Index: 17
Last. V.D. Balise (UNM: University of New Mexico)H-Index: 1
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Abstract Unconventional oil and natural gas extraction (UOG) combines directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing and produces billions of liters of wastewater per year. Herein, we review experimental studies that evaluated the potential endocrine-mediated health impacts of exposure to a mixture of 23 UOG chemicals commonly found in wastewater. The purpose of this manuscript is to synthesize and summarize a body of work using the same UOG-mix but with different model systems and physiological ...
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#3Ying Zhu (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
#8Qinghua Zhang (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
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Abstract Produced water (PW) is the largest waste stream associated with oil and gas extraction and contains organics, salts, metals and radioactive materials. In the United States, west of the 98th meridian, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System exemption allows for release of PW to surface waters for agricultural beneficial reuse if it is “of good enough quality”. Due to the complex and variable composition of PW, the downstream impacts of these releases are not fully understood....
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Chemicals used in unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations can act as endocrine disrupting chemicals and metabolic disruptors. Our lab has reported altered energy expenditure and activity in C57BL/6J mice that were periconceptionally, gestationally, and lactationally exposed via maternal drinking water to a laboratory-created mixture of 23 UOG chemicals from gestational day 1 to postnatal day 21 in seven-month-old female mice with no change in body composition. We hypothesized that allowing t...
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Previous studies conducted in our laboratory have found altered adult health outcomes in animals with prenatal exposure to environmentally relevant levels of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) chemicals with endocrine-disrupting activity. This study aimed to examine potential metabolic health outcomes following a preconception, prenatal and postnatal exposure to a mixture of 23 UOG chemicals. Prior to mating and from gestation day 1 to postnatal day 21, C57BL/6J mice were developmentally exposed t...
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