Screening for endocrine disrupting compounds in Kakadu plunge pools


Internal Report 486
Hogan A, Peck M & Kennett R
Supervising Scientist Division
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

About the report

Water samples taken from three popular swimming holes in Kakadu National Park during periods of high visitation were screened for oestrogenic activity using the Yeast Estrogen Screen (YES). The signals detected were compared to levels in samples taken upstream of the swimming sites, in addition to those reported from impacted sites overseas and to the levels shown to cause whole organism effects in laboratory studies. Detectable but low levels of oestrogenicity were found in all Kakadu plunge pools sampled. Plunge pool water oestrogenicities were found to be similar to upstream sampling sites, lower than in most samples reported in the literature and lower than levels shown to cause reproductive effects in whole organisms. As such, it was concluded that the biota in Kakadu plunge pools are at low risk of endocrinological disruption from oestrogenic compounds potentially introduced by swimmers.