There is a nice review of Emerging Contaminants, recently published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, by Susan Richardson. In it is a review of the "oldies" like PFOA, PFOS, and polybrominated flame retardants and newbies like nanomaterials and ethylene dibromide or EDB, a gasoline additive from back in the day when gasoline was leaded.
In the excerpt below she discusses the term “Emerging,” a term over which I sometimes stumble. Which chemicals fit into the category of emerging contaminants? Why are some chemicals which have been around for decades suddenly appear as “emerging” and, why are others, which have yet to be detected in major quantities (like the category of nanomaterials – which describes a type of chemical rather than any one specific chemical) on the list?
“Emerging environmental contaminants were the focus of a recent issue of Environmental Science & Technology (
Although a bit technical in spots (this is Analytical Chemistry afterall,) the current literature for each emerging contaminant is reviewed in a readable manner, and there is an impressive list of over 200 citations for those looking to learn more.