Tire Leachate, Hair Relaxers, and Detergents Enter SF Bay Through Stormwater Soup

Scientists studying environmental pollutants tend to divide them into two distinct groups. One includes “legacy” contaminants that drew attention during the early stages of the environmental movement, like mercury, PCBs, and some pesticides. The other is a much larger class of “emerging” contaminants whose production or monitoring began more recently and about whom less is known; think pharmaceuticals, plastic additives, and flame retardants.

Effluent from wastewater treatment plants is often seen as the primary source of emerging contaminants in San Francisco Bay. But a report published in July by the Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) challenges that assumption by highlighting the importance of urban stormwater runoff as another major source of some less-studied chemicals in Bay waters.

Read the full story here, from the September issue of Estuary News.

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