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Alexandra Richardson: Rapid direct analysis of river water and machine learning assisted suspect screening of emerging contaminants in passive sampler extracts

Over 350 000 chemicals and mixtures of chemicals are currently registered for commercial production and use globally.1 Consequently, chemical contamination of the aquatic environment via point and diffuse sources of pollution is increasingly evident.

More recently, selected contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) have been identified such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, flame retardants, plastic-related chemicals, illicit drugs and a variety of other industrial chemicals in multiple environmental compartments.

2–4 However, more comprehensive, flexible and rapid chemical characterisation approaches are required to improve understanding of the environmental risks such chemicals may pose.

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