Ogun-Semore, Kikelomo; Department of Biological Sciences; Wiley, Faith; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Freshwater sources are subject to contamination from toxic compounds and other harmful materials through improper sewage cleanup and pollution. Ethinyl estradiol (EE), a synthetic, steroidal estrogen used in contraception, is present in varying concentrations across freshwater sources worldwide. EE is also classified as an endocrine disruptor that is known to interfere with the endocrine system. Endocrine disruptors can create adverse effects on bodily systems and have been found to affect behavioral patterns, enzymatic activity levels, and estrogen receptor levels. Preceding data has found that EE exposure leads to an increase in mortality, a decrease in offspring, and changes in reproductive morphology among freshwater invertebrates. The objective of this study was to observe the sublethal effects and bioaccumulation of ethinyl estradiol in Lumbriculus variegatus. Data collection on experimental endpoints, including reproduction rate, segment regrowth of L. variegatus, have been collected. The bioaccumulation of EE within L. variegatus was observed through sediment testing and an ethinyl estradiol ELISA. The data collected from this experiment contributes to information available on the effects of low-dosage endocrine disruptor concentrations on freshwater organisms. The effects of EE and its bioaccumulation could be extrapolated to include bioaccumulation of EE in organisms of higher trophic levels, including vertebrates.