BE-4 :: “New”, non-common measured or “Emerging Contaminants” in soil, groundwater, sediment

Definition of Emerging contaminants by the United States Geological Survey: “Any synthetic or naturally occurring chemical that is not commonly monitored in the environment but has the potential to enter the environment and cause known or suspected adverse ecological and(or) human health effects”.
The major sources of environmentally relevant emerging contaminants are primarily wastewater treatment plants effluents, and secondarily terrestrial run-offs (roofs, pavement, roads, agricultural land) including atmospheric deposition. Characteristic of some contaminants is that they do not need to be persistent in the environment to cause negative effects since their high transformation/removal rates is compensated by their continuous introduction into the environment. For most of the occurring emerging contaminants, risk assessment and ecotoxicological data are not available and therefore it is difficult to predict which health effects they may have on humans, terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and ecosystems. Also the budgets (sources, entry routes, and fate) for environmental pollutants would be of importance .
When migrated to surface and groundwater, new or emerging contaminants form a threat to the drinking water production on the long term.
Research questions:
The following research questions are relevant for either natural capital (cf. historical contamination due to emerging contaminants), land management (cf. prevention of contamination due to emerging contaminants) and impact of land management (cf. contamination due to emerging contaminants in relation to ongoing land management practices).
Knowledge on physicochemical properties and risks of “new” (emerging) contaminants (e.g. cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, …) is often not available and is needed: (eco)toxicology, bioavailability, combination toxicology, behavior, sources, pathways, impact, remediation technology, …
Sampling methods and suitable analytical methods (low detection limit) are often not available and are needed
Collection monitoring data (in soil, groundwater, sediment) is needed to check the evidence in the real environment.
How to set priorities in the research and monitoring for the most critical parameters?
How to set “threshold values” (if necessary)?
How to remediate these “new” (often persistent and mobile) parameters?
How to prevent and remediate contaminated soils, groundwater, sediments?
How to raise awareness at the producers and consumers (of the products containing emerging contaminants) (e.g. appropriate use of products, …)?
How to estimate the risks of new or emerging pollutants for drinking water production?