Issue Date: September 26, 2011
Emerging Pollutants Named In Great Lakes
Synthetic musk fragrances—which are used in personal care and cleaning products—and pharmaceuticals are among the eight classes of chemicals that are emerging contaminants in the Great Lakes, according to a report from the International Joint Commission. The organization, which oversees issues affecting waters shared by the U.S. and Canada, says an antiepileptic drug, carbamazepine, was the pharmaceutical most frequently detected coming into drinking water filtration plants in the Great Lakes region. Pesticides are another category of concern, the report says, noting that studies have consistently detected atrazine, metolachlor, and mecoprop in the basin’s waterways. Another group of contaminants consists of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants and chlorinated paraffins. The other classes are perfluorinated surfactants, notably perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid; alkylphenolic substances including the surfactants nonylphenol and octylphenol; plasticizers, especially bisphenol A; and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The report recommends that regulators conduct a risk assessment for each of the substances of emerging concern.
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