What are Emerging Contaminants of Concern?



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Emergening contaminants are different chemicals produced by a variety of contaminants that we don’t know enough about. This article will discuss various contaminants of concern that EPA Victoria studies.

Emerging contaminants are chemicals that are used in pharmaceuticals, firefighting, insecticides and pesticides, and more. The environmental and health impacts of exposure to these chemicals are unknown.

It’s important to figure out what the various contaminants are, where they come from, how people can come into contact with them, and their effects on the environment.

The reason for concern is that there are so many new chemicals that are produced and introduced to the environment every year. Producing so many new agents, so rapidly, means that the effects on the environment and human health cannot be properly studied.

For example, PFAS are a class of several thousand chemicals that are used in firefighting and household cookware due to their fire retardant nature. They’re mobile and persistent, meaning they move all over the environment and stick around. It is unknown if they affect people’s health and the environment adversely.

The EPA notes that it’s important to be conservative and prevent exposure to mitigate any unknown health effects. As there is more time to study these emerging contaminants, we can create safer environments and produce cleaner chemicals.


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