the basis and procedure
a summary

Public concern has been expressed regarding low-level contamination of public drinking water with "xenoestrogens", which are manmade compounds that act like the female growth stimulant, estrogen. A project was proposed, which had as its central theme the measurement of trace levels of these xenoestrogens in the form of pesticides (DDT, DDD, DDE, methoxychlor, and endosulfan) in the Town of Amherst's public drinking water.

Students in Introductory Chemistry measured trace levels of pesticides in drinking water in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1997 and 1998. Their work was published in 1999 in the Journal of Chemical Education.

For the last three years, the class has refined their work on drinking water, and expanded their research to look at estrogenic pesticides in various formulations of green tea and dietary supplements (St. John's Wort, kava root, ginger root, echinachea, gingko biloba, primrosa, Siberian ginseng).

project home