In vitro assessment of endocrine disrupting potential of organic fractions extracted from hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (HF-FPW)

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

2 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Yifeng Zhang
  • Jonathan W. Martin
  • Daniel S. Alessi
  • John P. Giesy
  • Greg G. Goss

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-831
Journal / PublicationEnvironment International
Volume121
Issue numberPart 1
Online published17 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Potential effects of horizontal drilling combined with high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HF) have drawn significant public concern, especially on the handling, treatment, and disposal of HF flowback and produced water (HF-FPW). Previous studies indicated HF-FPW could significantly disrupt biotransformation and expressions of genes related to the endocrine system. This study focused on effects of organic extracts of HF-FPW on receptor binding activity using several transactivation assays. Six HF-FPW samples were collected from 2 wells (Well A and Well B, 3 time points at each well). These were separated by filtration into aqueous (W) and particulate (S) phases, and organics were extracted from all 12 subsamples. Of all the tested fractions, sample B1-S had the greatest Σ13PAH (11,000 ng/L) and B3-S has the greatest Σ4alkyl-PAHs (16,000 ng/L). Nuclear receptor binding activity of all the extracts on aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), estrogen receptor (ER), and androgen receptor (AR) were screened using H4IIE-luc, MVLN-luc, and MDA-kb2 cells, respectively. FPWs from various HF wells exhibited distinct nuclear receptor binding effects. The strongest AhR agonist activity was detected in B3-S, with 450 ± 20 μg BaP/L equivalency at 5 × exposure. The greatest ER agonist activity was detected in A1-W, with 5.3 ± 0.9 nM E2 equivalency at 10× exposures. There is a decreasing trend in ER agonist activity from A1 to A3 in both aqueous and particulate fractions from Well A, while there is an increasing trend in ER agonist activity from B1 to B3 in aqueous fractions from Well B. This study provides novel information on the sources of endocrine disruptive potentials in various HF-FPW considering both temporal and spatial variability. Results suggest that reclamation or remediation and risk assessment of HF-FPW spills likely requires multiple strategies including understanding the properties of each spill with respect to fractured geological formation and physiochemical properties of the injected fluid.

Research Area(s)

  • Endocrine disruption, Flowback and produced water (FPW), Hydraulic fracturing (HF), Nuclear receptor binding activity, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)

Citation Format(s)

In vitro assessment of endocrine disrupting potential of organic fractions extracted from hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (HF-FPW). / He, Yuhe; Zhang, Yifeng; Martin, Jonathan W.; Alessi, Daniel S.; Giesy, John P.; Goss, Greg G.

In: Environment International, Vol. 121, No. Part 1, 12.2018, p. 824-831.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal