New developments on emerging organic pollutants in the atmosphere.

Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research-National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IIA), Via Salaria km 29.3, 00015 Monterotondo Stazione, RM, Italy.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (Impact Factor: 2.76). 07/2012; 19(6):1875-84. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-012-0815-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The continuous progress in analytical techniques has improved the capability of detecting chemicals and recognizing new substances and extended the list of detectable contaminants widespread in all environmental compartments by human activities. Most concern is focused on water contamination by emerging compounds. By contrast, scarce attention is paid to the atmospheric sector, which in most cases represents the pathway of diffusion at local or global scale. Information concerning a list of organic pollutants is provided in this paper. METHODS: The volatile methyl tert-butyl ether and siloxanes are taken as examples of information insufficient with regard to the potential risk induced by diffusion in the atmosphere. Illicit drugs, whose presence in the air was ascertained although by far unexpected, are considered to stress the needs of investigating not solely the environmental compartments where toxic substances are suspected to display their major influence. Finally, the identification of two recognized emerging contaminants, i.e., tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate and N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, in aerosols originally run to characterize other target compounds is presented with the purpose of underlining the wide diffusion of the organic emerging contaminants in the environment.

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    ABSTRACT: The consequences of direct or indirect actions of the modern way of life on the environment have been targets of constant concern with respect to the future of the planet. Several substances that are inadequately disposed of as well as compounds that are not yet recognized as contaminants, have been showing increased levels in the environment and some toxic effects have already being reported. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a group of flame retardants released from consumer goods into the environment by different means such as volatilization after direct disposal or during production, can be considered in this context. PBDEs show high lipophilicity, resistance to degradation and bioaccumulative potential, being classified as persistent organic pollutants (POP), resulting in high levels of PBDEs in the environment (air, water and sediments), biota and humans. Some toxic effects observed in the organisms have been associated with the presence of PBDEs, such as their action as endocrine disruptors in humans and the biota, although their toxic mechanism is not completely understood and No part of this digital document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted commercially in any form or by any means. The publisher has taken reasonable care in the preparation of this digital document, but makes no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of information contained herein. This digital document is sold with the clear understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, medical or any other professional services.
    01/2013: pages 29; , ISBN: 978-1-62417-738-5