Over the last decade, the major focus of pollutant research has shifted from previously established contaminants to the emerging contaminants of concern. These emerging contaminants are not of recent origin, but their analytical quantification, exposure routes and pathways and consequent human health and ecological effects are now becoming known. The Industrial Revolution introduced new materials hitherto unknown to humanity, optimized industrial processes, and greatly improved our living standards. The net consequences of this progress is the generation and discharge of new waste streams in the environment and as such term "emerging contaminants" will remain in vogue as we continue to understand the nature, persistence, stability and related human health and ecological risks due to these new contaminants. At this point in time, we are deliberating on emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, insecticides, poly- and perfluorinated compounds and engineered nanomaterials.
Detection of emerging contaminants in various environmental matrices including air, water, soil, and sediments has been reported in various journals and scientific reports with increasing frequency. Yet, little information exists in terms of remediation, human health and ecological risk characterization and promulgation of new regulation to deal with the problems associated with emerging contaminants. In addition to environmental impact of pharmaceuticals and insecticides, engineered nanomaterials also emerged as emerging contaminants of concern. This book is an effort to communicate current knowledge and identify future direction so that we will be better able to manage and mitigate adverse environmental and human health consequences due to emerging contaminants. Each of the book's chapters cover an important aspect of emerging micro-pollutants with regard to their environmental occurrence, analytical quantification, fate, transport (surface and sub-surface), persistence and removal mechanism.