Emerging Contaminants

Problem statement

Emerging contaminants, can be new or existing substances found within the environment higher than expected levels. These may present new and untested uncertainties around soil and groundwater contamination that pose a risk to human health, the environment and prove a challenge for the sustainable remediation of sites.


Key stakeholders

  • Manufacturers/ site owners
  • Regulators
  • Laboratories
  • Consultants


Knowledge base

  • Limited knowledge on some new emerging contaminants
  • New contaminants limited to available methods of analysis
  • Norman Network - monitoring emerging environmental substances
  • PFOS/PFOA are no longer emerging whilst many PFAS are still emerging contaminants



  • Background/ baseline concentrations
  • Analytical testing methods
  • Risk assessment screening values
  • Rapid evaluation tools
  • Obtaining fate and transport data
  • Physico-chemical properties
  • Persistence in the environment
  • Oportunities for sustainable remediation
  • Obtaining toxicity data


Member priorities

  • Development and inter-laboratory validation for new analytical methods
  • Collation of toxicity data
  • Fate and transport in soils, rocks and groundwater
  • Sustainable remediation


Working partnership

  • Regulatory bodies e.g. Environment Agency in England
  • Analytical laboratories (public/ private/ academic)
  • Norman Network


Research and innovation priority


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