OECD Workshop on Managing Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Surface Waters

5 February 2018
9h - 18h30
OECD Paris
Room CC13

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) comprise a vast array of contaminants that have only recently appeared in water, or that are of recent concern because they have been detected at concentrations significantly higher than expected, or their risk to human and environmental health may not be fully understood.

Examples include pharmaceuticals, industrial and household chemicals, personal care products, pesticides, manufactured nanomaterials, and their transformation products.

The Workshop built on the scoping paper, case studies submitted by OECD countries and discussions held at previous OECD meetings of the Working Party on Biodiversity, Water and Ecosystems, and the Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology.

Objectives of the workshop:

  • take stock of recent developments in CECs management in OECD countries;
  • identify lessons learnt from case studies and requisites for effective policy design and implementation; and
  • discuss barriers to effective policy reform and improvements in water quality, and how these may be overcome, including policy-making under scientific uncertainty.


The aim of the Workshop was to ultimately deliver preliminary recommendations to manage CECs.



  • Proposed Programme of Work: Policy Responses to Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Freshwaters of OECD Countries
  • Scoping Study on Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Surface Water in OECD Countries
  • Case studies