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Emerging Contaminants

Contaminants of emerging concern, also known as emerging contaminants, are materials that have been detected relatively recently in the environment at concentrations that have caused concern. Compounds in this vast category are not commonly monitored or regulated.

NEIWPCC member states have identified the occurrence, fate, and transport of emerging contaminants as a cross-programmatic priority issue. Their ecological and human health implications for wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities is of key interest.

Recent media attention and advances in detection techniques have created a greater awareness of  emerging contaminants and the need for action and leadership at the local, state, and regional levels.

Ongoing research is focused on the environmental impacts of these compounds, including research on the prioritization of compounds of greatest concern, the development of better detection and analytical methodologies, source characterization, and human health and ecological impacts. For more information, please view our Emerging Contaminants Research and Resources page.