- Heavy metals
- Mineral oil
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Aromatic hydrocarbons
- Chlorinated hydrocarbons
- Phenols Cyanides
Different contaminants have different effects on human health and the environment, depending on their properties, for example: their potential for dispersion, their solubility in water or fat, their bio-availability, carcinogenicity, etc. These are of key importance for research and development, the remediation market and related industries; for example, if a specific compound is known to be a major soil contaminant it may be worthwhile to develop new detection methods (e.g. in-situ detection) and more efficient remediation techniques.
The distribution of the different contaminants is similar in the liquid and the solid matrix. The main contaminant categories are mineral oils and heavy metals. Phenols and cyanides make a negligible contribution to the total contaminant loading. The shares of the various pollutants have hardly changed over the years, the only substantial change being a decrease in the contribution of chlorinated hydrocarbons to groundwater contamination.