A panel of reporter gene assays (RGAs) coupled with a single solid phase extraction (SPE) step was developed and used to screen bottled mineral water for the presence of four classes of endocrine disruptors (EDs), oestrogens, androgens, progestagens and glucocorticoids.
Fourteen brands of bottled mineral water in triplicate (42 samples) were analysed. Overall, hormonal activity was found in 78% of the samples. Oestrogenic, androgenic, progestagenic and glucocorticoid activity was found in 38%, 38%, 36% and 55% of the samples, respectively at an average concentration of 10 ng/l 17 beta-estradiol equivalent (EEQ), 26 ng/l testosterone equivalent (TEQ), 123 ng/l progesterone equivalent (PEQ) and 13.5 ng/l hydrocortisone equivalent (HEQ).
The level of oestrogenic, androgenic and progestagenic activity observed is not considered a matter of concern for the consumers' health. It is unknown whether the glucocorticoid levels observed are safe. The ED source, long term exposure and mixture effects remain to be investigated. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.