The effect of particle size on sorption of estrogens, androgens and progestagens in aquatic sediment

Jodi L. Sangster, Hugues Oke, Yun Zhang, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence of enhanced transport and biological effects stemming from steroid hormones associated with soils or sediments; however, there are limited studies evaluating how steroid hormone distribution between various particle sizes within whole sediments affects steroid fate. In this study, sorption of 17β-estradiol, estrone, progesterone, and testosterone was evaluated to different size fractions of two natural sediments, a silty loam and a sandy sediment, to determine the steroid sorption capacity to each fraction and distribution within the whole sediment. Sorption isotherms for all steroid hormones fit linear sorption models. Sorption capacity was influenced more by organic carbon content than particle size. Interactions between size fractions were found to affect the distribution of steroids within the whole sediments. All four steroids preferentially sorbed to the clay and colloids in the silty loam sediment at the lowest aqueous concentration (1. ng/L) and as aqueous concentration increased, the distribution of sorbed steroid was similar to the distribution by weight of each size fraction within the whole sediment. In the sandy sediment, preferential sorption to fine particles was observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Dec 5 2015


  • Androgens
  • Aquatic sediment
  • Estrogens
  • Progestagens
  • Sorption
  • Steroid hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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