Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Water: The Invisible Visible | FAScinate™

Not only do extensive human activities and environmental processes contribute to the loading and transport of emerging contaminants (i.e., contaminants of emerging concern or CECs), but relatively ineffective treatment technologies with unknown removal mechanisms also play a role, especially in water. Due to the invisible nature and properties of CECs (if known at all), there are numerous factors that can have ambivalent effects on their transportation and fate, leading to widespread contamination that poses a visible potential risk to food and drink supplies. Given the insufficient regulatory measures in place to address the whole spectrum of pollution and pollutants evolution, human exposure through drinking water consumption is a growing concern. The subsequent health risks, particularly the well-known endocrine dysfunction effects, are of great concern and can have significant political, economic, and social impacts. Effective risk communication and governance are urgently needed, given the current relatively low levels of knowledge and awareness, which may have led to an underestimation of the impacts.