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  • A new method was developed for the analysis of natural and synthetic androgenic steroids and their selected metabolites in aquatic environmental matrices using direct large-volume injection (LVI) high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Method accuracy ranged from 88 to 108% for analytes with well-matched internal standards. Precision, quantified by relative standard deviation (RSD), was less than 12%. Detection limits for the method ranged from 1.2 to 360 ng/L. The method was demonstrated on a series of 1-hr composite wastewater influent samples collected over a day with the purpose of assessing temporal profiles of androgen loads in wastewater. Testosterone, androstenedione, boldenone, and nandrolone were detected in the sample series at concentrations up to 290 ng/L and loads up to 535 mg. Boldenone, a synthetic androgen, had a temporal profile that was strongly correlated to testosterone, a natural human androgen, suggesting its source may be endogenous. An analysis of the sample particulate fraction revealed detectable amounts of sorbed testosterone and androstenedione. Androstenedione sorbed to the particulate fraction accounted for an estimated five to seven percent of the total androstenedione mass.
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