This chapter gives an introduction on emerging organic contaminants, defined as chemicals that occur in water resources and pose a potential environmental risk, although currently it cannot be clearly defined given the paucity of existing data. The main source of emerging contaminants are discussed, giving special attention to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and processes occurring therein that determine their fate and transformation. Fate and behavior in the aquatic environment is briefly outlined, discussing main biotic and abiotic transformations occurring in rivers. Finally, specific classes of emerging organic contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, perfluorinated compounds, polar pesticides, and nanoparticles, are discussed in more details, giving examples of the most relevant compounds and their characteristics and risk indicators.
Ladislav Mandaric, Mira Celic, Rafael Marcé, Mira Petrovic, Chapter, Part of the series The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, pp 1-23, 26 January 2016