A class of newly emerging contaminants, so-called persistent and mobile organic chemicals (PMOCs) are a threat to the quality of water resources. This is what Pim de Voogt, professor of Environmental Chemistry at the UvA Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), argues together with European colleagues in a feature in the prestigious journal Environmental Science & Technology.
PMOCs are highly polar (mobile in water) and can pass through wastewater treatment plants, subsurface environments and potentially also drinking water treatment processes. In the feature entitled 'Mind the Gap: Persistent and Mobile Organic Compounds - Water Contaminants That Slip Through' the researchers argue that there is little knowledge about this class of newly emerging contaminants that are both highly persistent and mobile.
The discharge of PMOCs into the aquatic environment is a threat to the quality of water resources. While a few such compounds are known, the researchers infer that their number is actually much larger. The article highlights the issue of PMOCs from an environmental perspective and assesses the gaps that appear to exist in terms of analysis, monitoring, water treatment and regulation. On this basis the authors elaborate strategies on how to narrow these gaps with the intention to better protect water resources.
Reemtsma, T., Berger, U., Arp, H.P.H., Gallard, H., Knepper, T.P., Neumann, M., Quintana, J.B., and de Voogt, P. (2016): Mind the Gap: Persistent and Mobile Organic Compounds—Water Contaminants That Slip Through. Environmental Science & Technology, 2016, 50.