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Emerging Micropollutants Project

The Report "Emerging Pollutants. Knowledge framework on the presence, containment technologies and the state of research on micropollutants and microplastics in Lombardy's aquatic compartments".The volume is the result of the Emerging Micropollutants Working Group (GdL-MIE) and gives an overview of the knowledge on MIEs, illustrating a synthesis of the available knowledge and highlighting the critical issue of knowledge in the aquatic compartments considered (groundwater, drinking water, wastewater, rivers, lakes, sediments, biological matrices).


In recent times, the quality status of water bodies has begun to be affected by a very high number of new pollutants, the presence of which is encountered with difficulty, both because of their limited concentration and the complexity of their identification. The growing attention to micropollutants and micro and nanoplastics is paradigmatically triggering a change in the very definition of the quality of the aquatic environment, which must increasingly respond to assessments of the protection of human health and the environment.


At the beginning of 2018, the LE2C Cluster, in agreement with DG Territory and Civil Protection of the Lombardy Region, set up the Emerging Micropollutants Working Group with the aim of surveying the state of the art knowledge on the presence, diffusion, dangerousness etc. of EMPs in Lombardy.

With the GdL-MIE, the Cluster wants to contribute, through the collection and dissemination of detailed information on the phenomenon of emerging pollutants, to the definition of management strategies for the protection of the environment, which in the medium term may facilitate the implementation of actions to contain their presence in the aquatic environment and technological innovations in water treatment, encouraging collaboration between research and university sectors and with companies in the sector in view of the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3), the tool used throughout the European Union to improve the effectiveness of public policies for research and innovation.

The GdL-MIE was joined on a voluntary basis by the 15 research bodies, universities and Integrated Water Service listed at the end of this presentation.

Six Data Owners (ARPA Lombardia, MM Settore idrico, Gruppo CAP, BrianzAcque, CNR-Istituto di Ricerca Sulle Acque, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri") have contributed to the collection of information, dealing with monitoring, studies and research in the fields of surface water and groundwater, sediments, biota, urban and industrial wastewater, sewage sludge.

Through the collaboration started in September 2019 with the Joint Research Centre of Ispra (Varese, Italy), the GdL-MIE will coordinate the inclusion by the Data Owners of the data made available, covering a period of a decade (2009-2019), in the IPCheM (Information Platform for Chemical Monitoring) platform, wanted by the European Commission and developed by the JRC. IPCheM ( is a portal dedicated to the sharing of data, guaranteed by different levels of confidentiality, but especially to their sharing in the European Union in the fields of environmental monitoring, human bio-monitoring, food and feed, products and indoor air.


The work of the GdL-MIE was collected in the Report published in September 2020 entitled "Emerging Pollutants" and presented in a webinar organised by the Lombardy Region on 12 October 2020.

The document examines the problem of emerging pollutants on a regional scale, promoting an innovative methodological approach to data management and processing, but also providing preliminary information on the state of the presence of emerging pollutants in water and wastewater. In addition to the information framework, the document presents a section dedicated to the state of the technologies for the removal of emerging pollutants from wastewater treatment plants and also those intended for drinking water use, which makes it possible to understand the capacity to contain the spread of these pollutants in the environment and the level of protection in human consumption.

Finally, the report addresses the problem of microplastics, supported by a cognitive survey of Integrated Water Service companies, providing an image oriented towards the state of the art of research and current knowledge of a phenomenon that has only recently begun to receive strong interest from research and which in recent years has stimulated the attention and sensitivity of the population.





ARPA Lombardia, BrianzAcque, Gruppo CAP, CNR-Istituto di Ricerca Sulle Acque, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Lariana Depur SpA, Joint Research Centre of Ispra, Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster (LE2C), MM SpA-Servizio Idrico, Politecnico di Milano, Regione Lombardia, Università Statale di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, Università degli Studi di Brescia.


"Emerging Pollutants. Knowledge framework on the presence, containment technologies and the state of research on micropollutants and microplastics in Lombardy's aquatic compartments": published in September 2020, the Final Report of the GdL-MIE presents an overview of the available knowledge, also highlighting the critical issues in the aquatic compartments of groundwater, drinking water, wastewater, rivers, lakes, sediments and biological matrices.

"Review of European, National, Lombardy regulations": on 31 January 2019 the GdL-MIE published a review of the most relevant regulations existing at European, national and regional level, together with the documental collections of the acts, in Italian, taken into consideration.


12 October 2020, Milan: Emerging Pollutants. Presence, technologies and research on micropollutants and microplastics in Lombard waters

7 November 2019, Rimini: Ecomondo 2019 | Round Table "Water Resources: The Problem of the Presence of micro and nano components

11-12 June 2018, Milan: Micropollutants and Emerging Contaminants: Testimonials, Solutions and Perspectives

Download here the Report "Emerging Pollutants. Knowledge framework on the presence, containment technologies and the state of research on micropollutants and microplastics in Lombardy's aquatic compartments". The Report is written in Italian. 

If you are interested in the activities carried out or to join the Working Group, please contact us by writing to: 

Smart Energy



Water Energy