Sorption of male hormones by soils and sediments

Il Kim, Zhiqiang Yu, Baohua Xiao, Weilin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper reports the sorption of two male hormones, testosterone and androstenedione, by four soil and sediment samples at both equilibrium and rate-limiting conditions. Unlike prior studies, androstenedione was studied independently of testosterone. Apparent sorption equilibrium is achieved in one to two weeks when the initial aqueous hormone concentrations (C0) at 10,000 μg/L (∼30% of their solubility limits [Sw]) and two to three weeks when the C0 is 300 μg/L (less than 1% of S w). The Freundlich model parameter n ranged from 0.698 to 0.899 for all soil-solute systems indicating nonlinear sorption isotherms. Isotherm nonlinearity leads to an inverse correlation between single-point organic carbon-normalized sorption distribution coefficients (AOC) and equilibrium androgen concentration (Ce). When Ce/S w = 0.012, the log KOC values for testosterone and androstenedione on the various sorbents ranged from 6.18 to 6.75 and 6.83 to 6.04, respectively, compared to 6.30 to 6.80 and 6.16 to 6.92 when C e/Sw = 0.004. This study suggests that male hormones may exhibit slow rates of sorption over 14 d or longer and that soils and sediments may have greater sorption distribution coefficients when concentrations fall into the ng/L range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Male hormone
  • Sediment
  • Soil
  • Sorption


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