Invisible pollution: Emerging marine pollutants

Belen Gonzalez-Gaya


Since the start of the Anthropocene, the planet has been threatened by a number of risks associated with human activity. Among them, chemical pollution is posing conceptual and technical challenges that are particularly difficult to characterise on a global scale. We must ask ourselves, what is a pollutant? What properties are relevant in their definition? Studies on the abundance, persistence, mobility in the environment, and bioaccumulation potential of the chemical compounds we use every day are changing the paradigm of what we consider pollutants. Thus, compounds that do not cause acute toxicity can still be dangerous for the ecosystem when they continually reach the environment, exist in very high concentrations, or disperse easily. Thus, raising awareness about the forgotten pollution that we unknowingly generate but which is affecting our oceans will be essential to protect the planet.


emerging pollutants; suspect analysis; non-directed analysis; transport of pollutants; exposure

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