| Sources and Source Pathways
To effectively minimize environmental contamination it is necessary to understand potential contaminant origins and pathways to the environment.
Emerging contaminants can originate from a variety of animal- and human-waste sources. Pathways to the environment range from rapid and direct discharges of effluent into a water body to the slow leaching of stored waste through soils.
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A myriad of sources of emerging contaminants and pathways to enter the environment exist throughout the world (see figure). Sources and Source Pathway research activities address: 1) identification and quantification of the contaminants or groups of contaminants associated with major sources and 2) processes that govern how these contaminants enter the environment (pathways).
Research on sources and source pathways includes:
Emerging Chemical Contaminants
Emerging Microbial Contaminants
Related Science Features
- Dairy-impacted wastewater is a source of iodinated disinfection byproducts in the environment: Hladik, M.L., Hubbard, L.E., Kolpin, D.W., and Focazio, M.J., 2016, Environmental Science and Technology Letters, v. 3, no. 5, p. 190-193, doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00109.
- Landfill leachate as a mirror of today's disposable society--Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern in final leachate from landfills in the conterminous United States: Masoner, J.R., Kolpin, D.W., Furlong, E.T., Cozzarelli, I.M., and Gray, J.L., 2015, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, doi:10.1002/etc.3219 (Advanced Web release).
- Integrated assessment of wastewater treatment plant effluent estrogenicity in the upper Murray River, Australia, using the native Murray rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis): Vajda, A.M., Kumar, A., Woods, M., Williams, M., Doan, H., Tolsher, P., Kookana, R.S., and Barber, L.B., 2015, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, v. 34, no. 5, p. 1078-1087, doi:10.1002/etc.2895.
- Concentrations of hormones, pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants in groundwater affected by septic systems in New England and New York: Phillips, P.J., Schubert, C., Argue, D., Fisher, I., Furlong, E.T., Foreman, W., Gray, J., and Chalmers, A., 2015, Science of the Total Environment, v. 512-513, p. 43-54, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.067.
- Predicting characteristics of rainfall driven estrogen runoff and transport from swine AFO spray fields: Lee, B., Kullman, S.W., Yost, E.E., Meyer, M.T., Worley-Davis, L., Williams, C.M., and Reckhow, K.H., 2015, Science of the Total Environment, v. 532, p. 571-580, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.051.
- Impact of wastewater infrastructure upgrades on the urban water cycle--Reduction in halogenated reaction byproducts following conversion from chlorine gas to ultraviolet light disinfection: Barber, L.B., Hladik, M.L., Vajda, A.M., Fitzgerald, K.C., and Douville, C., 2015, Science of the Total Environment, v. 529, p. 264-274, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.112.