The term “Contaminants of emerging concern” describes a heterogeneous set of thousands of molecules and metabolites whose presence in the environment had not been detected in the past and whose study and monitoring are relatively recent, even though they may have been present in the environment for a long time. Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CoECs) are synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals and microorganisms that are not commonly monitored in the environment. They are not currently covered by existing water quality regulations, have not been studied before, and are thought to be potential threats to ecosystems as well as human health and safety. Contaminants of emerging concern include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, metals, environmental oestrogens, microplastics and phthalates, nanoparticles, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, UV filters, flame retardants and disinfection by-products.


This study is part of one of the spin-offs ofthe Report on the State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean


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