Policies and regulations for the emerging pollutants in freshwater ecosystems: Challenges and opportunities

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Traditional environmental monitoring and characterization approaches are inadequate for addressing the health and safety issues of the emerging contaminants due to the enormous number of synthetic substances in use today. Advances in chemical and biological analysis, particularly suspect and nontarget screening, effect-directed analysis, high throughput bioassay techniques, and in silico analysis, have facilitated the shift from traditional approaches to highly innovative approaches. In Europe, there has been a shift towards effect-based approaches that consider the chemo-dynamics of an emerging contaminant and its biological effects on aquatic organisms. The development of the Pesticide Properties Database in 2007 demonstrated the feasibility of harmonizing chemical registries at an international level, which is critical for approaches such as “one chemical—one assessment” and class-based approaches to succeed. Lack of bi-directional communication between scientists and policymakers has contributed to the fragmentation and inconsistencies in chemical inventories and environmental regulations. However, establishing a global science-policy interface infrastructure could help ensure regulations, directives, and inventories are harmonized at national, regional, or even globally. This chapter discusses the challenges of regulating emerging contaminants in freshwater systems and explores novel strategies for shifting from traditional approaches to reliable, relevant, and competent environmental regulation approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Freshwater Pollutants
Subtitle of host publicationAnalysis, Fate and Regulations
EditorsNikita T. Tavengwa, Tatenda Dalu
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780128228500
ISBN (Print)9780323903158
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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