Emerging contaminants of environmental concern: Source, transport, fate, and treatment

Song Yan, S. Bala Subramanian, R. D. Tyagi, Rao Y. Surampalli, Tian C. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Emerging contaminants (ECs) have been wildly distributed in the environment and attracted increasing attention over the past decades. In this paper, the contaminants including pharmaceuticals and personal care products, surfactants, and their degradation products, plasticizers, pesticides, and fire retardants are comprehensively reviewed. Their main categories, properties, followed by their occurrences and behavior (fate and transport) in natural and engineered systems are discussed. The fate of the nanomaterial in different environmental compartments as well as their effects on human health and other fauna are also presented in this paper. Furthermore, the emerging molecular biology techniques to enumerate microbes capable of degrading ECs are introduced. The study has clearly showed the presence of complex mixtures of ECs, having various origins, and raised concern about their potential interactive effects in the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number004001QHZ
Pages (from-to)2-20
Number of pages19
JournalPractice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Emerging contaminants
  • Fire retardants
  • Molecular biology techniques
  • Nanomaterial
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals and personal care products
  • Plasticizers
  • Surfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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