New York Times Features Schnoor Discussing Rising Tide of Contaminants

Jerry Schnoor, holder of the Alen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, professor of civil and environmental engineering, faculty research engineer at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering, and

co-director of the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, recently called attention to both the startling growth of newly registered chemical compounds and our inadequate understanding of older ones in a New York Times blog.  The perspective came In a recent essay last in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, titled “Re-Emergence of Emerging Contaminants,” written by editor-in-chief Schnoor.

The American Chemical Society, the publisher of the journal, maintains the most comprehensive national database of commercially registered chemical compounds in the country. “The growth of the list is eye-popping, with approximately 15,000 new chemicals and biological sequences registered every day,” Schnoor wrote.

Not all of those are currently in use, he emphasized, and the majority are unlikely to be dangerous. “But, for better or worse, our commerce is producing innovative, challenging new compounds,” he wrote.

The complete blog is available at