U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

FFRRO Emerging Contaminants Fact Sheets

The Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO) has developed fact sheets that address emerging contaminants of particular concern to the federal facility community. While these contaminants present a number of issues to the government, the private sector, and other organizations, these fact sheets are designed to provide basic information targeted to federal facility Remedial Project Managers and other federal facility site managers or field personnel. These fact sheets include current information on physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing regulatory standards and cleanup levels; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information.

The FFRRO fact sheets address the following contaminants of concern and have been updated as of September 2009:

Emerging Contaminants - Nanomaterials

This fact sheet provides a brief summary of nanomaterials (NMs) as emerging contaminants, including their physical and chemical properties; potential environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information. This fact sheet is intended for use by site managers and other field personnel who may need to address or use NMs at cleanup sites or in drinking water supplies.

Emerging Contaminant - Tungsten

This fact sheet provides a brief summary for tungsten, including: physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information. Tungsten was originally considered a metal that remains stable in soil and does not dissolve easily in water. However, it is now a growing concern to the EPA and Department of Defense (DoD) because recent research indicates that tungsten may not be as stable as was indicated in earlier studies. Furthermore, varying soil properties such as pH may cause tungsten to dissolve and leach into the underlying aquifer. Currently, little information is available about the fate of tungsten in the environment and its effects on human health. Research about tungsten is ongoing and includes health effects and risks, degradation processes, and an inventory of its use in the defense industry as a substitute for lead-based munitions. This fact sheet provides basic information on tungsten to site managers and other field personnel who may be faced with tungsten contamination at a cleanup site.

Emerging Contaminants - Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE) and Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)

This fact sheet provides a brief summary for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), including physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information. PBB has been banned in the United States (US) since 1973 when it was accidentally mixed into animal feed exposing 9 million people to contaminated dairy products, eggs, and meat. In contrast, PBDEs have been in widespread use in the US since the 1970s; however, there is growing concern about their persistence in the environment and their tendency to bioaccumulate in the food chain. This fact sheet provides basic information on PBDEs and PBBs to site managers and other field personnel who may encounter these contaminants at a cleanup site.

Emerging Contaminant - N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

This fact sheet provides a brief summary for N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), including physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information. NDMA is an emerging drinking water contaminant that is of interest to the environmental community because of its miscibility with water, as well as its carcinogenicity and toxicity. This fact sheet is intended for use by site managers and other field personnel addressing NDMA contamination at a cleanup site or in a drinking water supply.

Emerging Contaminant - 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP)

This fact sheet provides a brief summary for 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP), including physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information. TCP is an emerging contaminant that is of interest to the government, private sector, and other parties. It is recognized by the State of California to cause cancer and is a known toxin. This fact sheet is intended for use by site managers and other field personnel in addressing TCP contamination at a cleanup site or in a drinking water supply.

Emerging Contaminant - 1,4 Dioxane

This fact sheet provides a brief summary for 1,4-dioxane, including physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information. This fact sheet is intended for use by site managers faced with addressing 1,4-dioxane at a cleanup site or in drinking water supplies and for those in a position to consider whether 1,4-dioxane should be added to the analytical suite for site investigation.

Emerging Contaminant - Perchlorate

This fact sheet provides a brief summary for perchlorate, including physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment methods; and additional sources of information. Perchlorate is a persistent contaminant of concern that has presented a number of issues to the government, the private sector, and other organizations and interested parties. These issues include health effects and risk, regulatory standards and cleanup levels, degradation processes, and treatment technologies. This fact sheet provides basic information on perchlorate to site managers and other field personnel who are addressing perchlorate contamination at a cleanup site or in a drinking water supply.

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