Trenbolone Acetate Metabolite Transport in Rangelands and Irrigated Pasture: Observations and Conceptual Approaches for Agro-Ecosystems

Publication Date


Document Type



To assess the relative ecological risks of trenbolone acetate (TBA) use in agro-ecosystems, we evaluated the spatiotemporal dynamics of TBA metabolite transport during irrigation and rainfall events. Within a pasture, TBA-implanted heifers (40 mg TBA, 8 mg estradiol) were briefly penned (24 h) at high stocking densities (500 animal units (AU)/ha), prior to irrigation. Irrigation runoff concentrations of 17α-trenbolone (17α-TBOH) 0.3 m downslope were 11 ng/L in the wetting front, but quickly decreased to ?0.5 ng/L, suggesting mass transfer limitations to transport. At 3 and 30 m downslope, efficient attenuation of 17α-TBOH concentrations is best explained by infiltration and surface partitioning. At plot scales, transport through vegetated filter strips resulted in <0.5?7 ng/L 17α-TBOH concentrations in rainfall-induced runoff with partial subsequent attenuation. Thus, even under intense grazing scenarios, TBA-metabolite transport potential is expected to be low in rangelands, with ecological risks primarily arising from uncontrolled animal access to receiving waters. However, 17α-TBOH concentrations in initial runoff were predicted to exceed threshold levels (i.e., no observed adverse effect levels [NOAELs]) for manure concentrations exceeding 2.0 ng/g-dw, which occurs throughout most of the implant life. For comparison, estrone and 17?-estradiol were modeled and are likely capable of exceeding NOAELs by a factor of ?2?5 in irrigation runoff, suggesting that both endogenous and exogenous steroids contribute to endocrine disruption potential in agro-ecosystems.

Publication Title

Environmental Science & Technology





First Page


Last Page




Publisher Policy

pre-print, post-print (with 12 month embargo)

This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library