Using the Tea Bag Index to unravel how interactions between an antibiotic (Trimethoprim) and endocrine disruptor (17a-estradiol) affect aquatic microbial activity: Supporting Dataset 1

  • William Ross Hunter (Creator)
  • Ashley Williamson (Creator)
  • Judith Maria Sarneel (Creator)



The constant release of complex mixture of pharmaceuticals, including antimicrobials and endocrine disruptors, into the aquatic environment. These have the potential to affect aquatic microbial metabolism and alter biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients. We used the Tea Bag Index (TBI) for decomposition within a series of contaminant exposure experiments to test how interactions between an antibiotic (trimethoprim) and endocrine disruptor (17a-estradiol) affects microbial activity in an aquatic system. The TBI is a citizen science tool used to test microbial activity by measuring the differential degradation of green and rooibos tea as proxies for labile and recalcitrant organic matter decomposition. Here we present the raw data on pharmaceutical exposures and the mass loss of the Rooibos and Green tea bags within the experiment. From Tea Bag mass loss we then calculated the Stabilisation Factor (S) and Initial Decomposition Rate of the labile organic matter fraction.
Date made available4 Nov 2019
Date of data production2019

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