"In 2002, there was no doubt which article in ES&T had the most impact: [the USGS Toxics Program report on emerging contaminants
] ... it is truly a remarkable article. It may prove to be the most cited paper in the history of ES&T. In the first two weeks following publication (Web release date: March 13, 2002), the article had approximately 4000 downloads from the ES&T Website and was reported by media throughout the world. During the three months from July-September, 2002, it still "had legs" with 728 downloads. In addition, it spawned several Comments and Response to Comments in ES&T, all with considerable public interest. This represents the success for which journals, publishers, and scientists all strive."
— Jerald L. Schnoor, Editor, Environmental Science and Technology, in "Making an Impact
," A Comment in Environmental Science and Technology, March 2003
The paper documented the presence of low levels of many organic wastewater compounds, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, hormones, and other wastewater compounds, in a network of 139 targeted streams across the United States.