On the Radio: Steroids in Water


Photo by UnitedSoybeanBoard; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the behaviors of certain steroids in bodies of water. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Growth steroids currently used in the beef industry do not fully break down in water as previously thought.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus

A new study led by Dave Cwiertny of the University of Iowa, published online in the journal Science, has found this was the case with the anabolic steroid trenbolone acetate, and two other drugs.

Once popular in the bodybuilding and weightlifting communities, trenbolone acetate is now banned for human use. However, it is federally approved for use by the beef industry to promote weight gain and increase feeding efficiency in cattle.

Synthetic drugs, when found in concentrated amounts, can be harmful to aquatic species and the environment generally.

Sunlight helps break down the compounds, but the researchers found that trenbolone acetate never completely disappeared – some of the compounds managed to regenerate themselves.

Results came from a collection pond at a cattle rangeland run by the University of California. Later, lab results were verified by water from the Iowa River in Iowa City.

To learn more about water pollution, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

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