Contributions to Science, Vol 6, No 2 (2010)

Emerging organic contaminants in aquatic environments: state-of-the-art and recent scientific contributions

Nicola Mastroianni, Miren López de Alda, Damià Barceló


Emerging contaminants are previously unknown or unrecognized contaminants whose presence in the environment is not necessarily new but which raise concern due to their potentially dangerous effects on the ecosystem and on human health. Due to their recent discovery or recognition as contaminants, information about the occurrence, fate, and toxicity of these compounds in the aquatic environment, as well as analytical methods for their detection in various environmental matrices, is scarce. We have intensively studied many of these classes of emerging contaminants (estrogens, pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, nanoparticles, polar pesticides, etc.). This article reviews the most recent contributions made by our group to the field of emerging contaminants with respect to the development of analytical methods, monitoring studies, and bioavailability, degradation, and toxicity studies. 

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ISSN: 2013-410X (electronic edition); 1575-6343 (print edition)