Isoflavones are compounds whose presence in the aquatic environment is increasingly recognized and may be of concern due to their potential to act as endocrine disruptors. Sorption to particles may be a relevant removal mechanism for isoflavones. This work investigated the influence of pH, ionic strength, and sediment composition on sorption of genistein and daidzein, two key isoflavones, using sorption isotherms and edges. The effect of sorbed isoflavones on the survival, growth, and predator avoidance performance of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) was assessed. Sorption to goethite and kaolinite was pH-dependent, with a maximum near pH 7 for both compounds. Sorption to montmorillonite was ionic-strength dependent but largely pH-independent. Overall, sorption to sediments is likely to sequester less than 5% of isoflavones in a discharge. No statistically significant effects were observed for larvae exposed to sorbed isoflavones, suggesting that sorption to sediments reduces exposure to isoflavones.
- Larval exposure