Contaminants
Any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance 
or matter that is in, on or under the land and that has the potential
to cause harm to human health or the environment.
Several types of contaminants have been identified at contaminated 
sites, including organic contaminants such as various
fractions of petroleum hydrocarbons (BTEX, PAHs, etc.),
phenols, chlorinated solvents, N and S-substituted compounds,
and various inorganic contaminants. The contaminants
spread from the site and thereby expose the surroundings
according to their physio-chemical properties and depending
on the hydrogeological features of the site. The different
contaminants show huge variety in terms of physio-chemical
properties governing their degradability, mobility and
toxicity in the soil and groundwater environment. A good
understanding of the processes governing the environmental
fate combined with in-depth knowledge about the contaminants
is important for sustainable management of contaminated
sites.
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