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: 2.83). 07/2012; 19(6):1875-84. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-012-0815-2
Source: PubMed


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.

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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    • "Moreover, they can reach regions far apart from their initial production, even affecting the Inuit population through bioaccumulation. They can also biomagnify and impact different trophic levels of the food chain Environ Sci Pollut Res and carcinogenicity are among the consequences of exposure to these contaminants (Balducci et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Technological, agricultural, and medical advances have improved the lifestyle of humankind. However, these advances have caused new problems that affect the environment and future generations. Emerging contaminants display properties such as low degradation potential and environmental persistence. In addition, most contaminants are lipophilic, which culminates in high bioaccumulation. The disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products into the environment underlies microbial and bacterial resistance. Plasticizers change several characteristics of industrialized materials, such as flexibility, but they are potentially carcinogenic and disrupt the endocrine system. Pesticides prevent the propagation of numerous kinds of pests; nevertheless, they exert neurotoxic and mutagenic effects, and they impact the environment negatively. Addition of flame retardants to a number of materials prevents flame propagation; however, after their release into the environment, these chemicals may bioaccumulate in organisms and disrupt the endocrine system, too. Surfactants can change the surface and interfacial properties of liquids, but their presence in the environment can interfere with countless enzymes and can even impair the endocrine system of various organisms and induce the feminization of species. Hence, gaining knowledge about emerging contaminants is increasingly important to minimize future damage and enable proper monitoring of each class of compounds in the environment.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Environmental Science and Pollution Research
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    • "The long-term exposure to emerging pollutants or the intake of trace amounts of them through contact, inhalation or ingestion is suspected to cause adverse health effects in most organisms at concentrations as low as a few nanograms per liter. Moreover, additive or synergistic effects are possible [3]. "
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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.
    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2013
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    ABSTRACT: The photochemical transformation of N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET), one of the most widespread and efficient mosquito repellents, has been investigated. Initially, photoinduced DEET degradation was investigated in liquid samples, at 20 degrees C and 0 degrees C, and in ice (-15 degrees C), aimed to simulate all possible photoinduced processes occurring in water and in cold environments. Under UV-illumination, DEET degradation was more efficient in ice than in water. The evaluation of transformation products (TPs) formed during the photolysis in solution and in ice evidences mostly the same degradation products, but with different concentration ratio and some peculiar differences. An hypothesis about what kind of processes may play a role is reported. In solution, the oxidative process mostly involved were (poly)hydroxylation or oxidation of the hydroxyl groups, while in ice N-dealkylation and monohydroxylation prevail. Finally, DEET and its TPs were searched out in snow and river water in wintertime.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A Chemistry
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