Focal Point: Environmental Analytical Chemistry: Emerging Contaminants and Water Analysis


  • W. Giger



Ambient waters, Environmental analytical chemistry, Flame retardants, Pharmaceuticals, Pollutants, Surfactants, Wastewater


Sophisticated analytical techniques are necessary for the determination of trace contaminants in various environmental compartments. Qualitative identifications are followed by quality controlled quantitations and applications to a broad range of samples. The presented case studies cover several relatively biopersistent chemicals and corresponding metabolites. The term emerging contaminants refers to environmental pollutants that have been only discovered and intensively studied during the last five years. Environmental field studies provide results which allow significant conclusions with regard to input sources and environmental behavior. Improving the control of chemical water quality is a challenging task, for which the progress of analytical techniques is a significant base. Besides anthropogenically introduced contaminants, naturally derived water constituents must also be thoroughly investigated in different parts of the environment. A well-established exposure assessment is crucially important for the evaluation of environmental risks posed by various chemicals, which occur in wastewaters, and of which residual amounts can enter ambient waters and drinking water.