Molecule of the Week
December 30, 2013
17β-Trenbolone is an anabolic steroid synthesized in 1963 by L. Velluz and co-workers. Veterinarians use it, most commonly as an ester, to increase muscle growth and appetite in livestock. It has also been illicitly used by athletes as an adjunct to weight training to build body mass.
When steroids such as 17β-trenbolone enter water supplies, they may disrupt the endocrine systems of wildlife that drink the water. Until recently, it was thought that the compounds decompose too quickly to pose a serious threat. But D. M. Cwiertny at the University of Iowa and E. P. Kolodziej at the University of Nevada, Reno, report that these steroids are degraded by light but re-form in the dark. Their findings suggest that steroid contaminants should be included in environmental risk assessment.