Article

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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