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Environ Pollut. 2012 Apr;163:287-303. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.12.034. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Emerging organic contaminants in groundwater: A review of sources, fate and occurrence.

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British Geological Survey, Mclean Building, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK.


Emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) detected in groundwater may have adverse effects on human health and aquatic ecosystems. This paper reviews the existing occurrence data in groundwater for a range of EOCs including pharmaceutical, personal care, 'life-style' and selected industrial compounds. The main sources and pathways for organic EOCs in groundwater are reviewed, with occurrence data for EOCs in groundwater included from both targeted studies and broad reconnaissance surveys. Nanogram-microgram per litre concentrations are present in groundwater for a large range of EOCs as well as metabolites and transformation products and under certain conditions may pose a threat to freshwater bodies for decades due to relatively long groundwater residence times. In the coming decades, more of these EOCs are likely to have drinking water standards, environmental quality standards and/or groundwater threshold values defined, and therefore a better understanding of the spatial and temporal variation remains a priority.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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