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Special ES&T issue examines effects of emerging contaminants on people, planet

Not so long ago, the notion that particles 80,000 times thinner than a human hair could somehow self-assemble and cause harmful effects in the water, air and perhaps even cells seemed far-fetched. But today the quest to understand nanoparticles and other emerging contaminants and discover ways to cope with them is one of the hottest and most critical areas in chemistry research.

More than 40 scientific papers on an array of these potentially problematic compounds - including pharmaceuticals, disinfectant by-products and fluorochemicals - are highlighted in the Dec. 1 issue of the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology. These articles examine what chemists and engineers are learning about emerging contaminants as well as what can be done to remediate those already in the environment and prevent others from getting there.

"(This) special issue not only publishes new knowledge on chemicals and organisms of recent interest, but it also suggests some newly realized effects on humans and the ecology of our planet," says Editor-in-Chief Jerald Schnoor, Ph.D. "It packs years of research into one broad reference on the fate, transport and effects of contaminants in water, air, soil and even our bodies today."

Here are a few selected highlights from the issue, including a look at how buckyballs can damage DNA and how trees could help curb the spread of NDMA into groundwater. To download manuscripts, please click on the links provided with each item. Please cite Environmental Science & Technology, or the American Chemical Society, as the source of this information.

Buckyball clumps damage human DNA

Buckyballs that clump together in water can induce DNA damage in human lymphocytes, according to Volodymyr Tarabara, Ph.D., and his colleagues at Michigan State University and India's Industrial Toxicology Research Centre. The study, believed to be the first of its kind, raises new concerns abou
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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
30-Nov-2006


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