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Product-to-Parent Reversion of Trenbolone: Unrecognized Risks for Endocrine Disruption

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Science  18 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6156, pp. 347-351
DOI: 10.1126/science.1243192

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Return of the Steroid

Trace levels of organic contaminants enter aquatic ecosystems from a variety of sources, including runoff of from agricultural lands. When these compounds and their metabolites break down, it is generally assumed that they become inert and pose less ecological risk. Qu et al. (p. 347, published online 26 September) tracked the sunlight-mediated transformation of metabolites of trenbolone acetate (TBA)—a common growth-promoting steroid given to beef cattle—across a number of conditions in the laboratory and in the field. When the degradation products were exposed to dark conditions following photodegradation, they surprisingly reverted back to TBA metabolites, including analog steroidal compounds similar to TBA with unknown biological effects.

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