March 12, 2019

Emerging Contaminants: Coming to an NRD Site Near You!

Kristin Robrock and Sarah Bell

What Are Emerging Contaminants?

Emerging contaminants are chemicals in the environment for which the health risks—both human and ecological—remain unknown. They are also sometimes called contaminants of emerging concern, since the chemicals, or products containing such chemicals, may have been initially manufactured decades ago, though information about potential human health and/or ecological risks associated with such chemicals may only be emerging now. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a list of emerging contaminants. However, this list is not exhaustive and certain states consider other compounds as emerging contaminants as well.

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