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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Manufacturing > Manufacturing Management > Pollution Prevention for Manufacturing Best Practices

Managing Emerging Contaminants in the Environment

The USGS Emerging Contaminants Project provides information on new and emerging compounds for evaluation of their threat to environmental and human health.

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Many chemical and microbial constituents that have not historically been considered as contaminants are coming into the environment on a global scale.

"Emerging contaminants" are commonly derived from municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastewater sources and pathways.

These newly recognized contaminants represent a shift in traditional thinking as many are produced industrially yet are dispersed to the environment from domestic, commercial, and industrial uses.

The major goal of the Emerging Contaminants Project is to provide information on these compounds for evaluation of their potential threat to environmental and human health. To accomplish this goal, the research activities of this project are to:

(1) develop analytical methods to measure chemicals and microorganisms or their genes in a variety of matrices (e.g. water, sediment, waste) down to trace levels,

(2) determine the environmental occurrence of these potential contaminants,

(3) characterize the myriad of sources and source pathways that determine contaminant release to the environment,

(4) define and quantify processes that determine their transport and fate through the environment, and

(5) identify potential ecologic effects from exposure to these chemicals or microorganisms.

Project research on emerging contaminants is being conducted within these five areas.

The USGS Emerging Contaminants website provides detailed information on the following environmental management processes:

  • Analytical Methods Development
  • Environmental Occurrence
  • Sources and Source Pathways
  • Transport and Fate
  • Ecological Effects



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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