Monitoring for Emerging Contaminants

In addition to studies for common environmental contaminants with well-understood chemical properties, there is a whole new field of research dedicated to emerging contaminants. Emerging contaminants are not commonly monitored for in the environment, but have known or suspected ecological or human health effects. The Toxics Studies Unit has conducted studies on many of these emerging chemicals. Some recent studies include assessments of pharmaceutical and personal-care products in municipal wastewater and runoff from roofing materials.

Toxic Chemicals in Roof Runoff describes an assessment of toxic chemicals in runoff from various types of roofing materials.


Pharmaceuticals and Personal-Care Products


The Targeted Studies team reports on studies aimed at detecting pharmaceutical and personal-care products in wastewater and how to remove these chemicals of concern before they enter the environment.

Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products, Hormones, and Sterols Detected in Process Water and Groundwater at Three Reclaimed Water Treatment Plants is a published report on a fall 2011 study of 145 compounds often found in pharmaceutical and personal-care products at the LOTT groundwater recharge facility on Martin Way in Lacey and Quincy’s and Yelm’s reclaimed-water treatment facilities. Seventy-three of these compounds were detected.

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Municipal Wastewater and Their Removal by Nutrient Treatment Technologies is a published report on an August 2008 study. Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted a one-day screening study to characterize pharmaceuticals and personal-care products at five municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Pacific Northwest.