This is published under the terms of CC-BY.
Awareness regarding water contamination has increased recently due to the emergence of a multitude of pollutants that pose a high risk to ecosystems and human health. The huge number and heterogeneity of contaminants of emerging concerns (CECs), in terms of their occurrence, bio-chemical behavior, and environmental impacts complicate their monitoring and control. This paper reviews empirical literature on the current situation of CECs to analyze how the identification and control of these emissions have been addressed. The results highlight the need for the risks and impacts of these emerging contaminants to be assessed from an integrated perspective, and for accurate estimates of the cost-efficiency of abatement technologies, taking into account potential side effects, to be provided. Thus, there is an urgent need for economic research that provides guidance for regulating these substances. Furthermore, issues such as developing protocols for measuring their presence and eco-toxicity, the way in which they are introduced into the environment, and their potential impact on aquatic ecosystems have yet to be covered.