This chapter examines the application of anthropogenic compounds as biomarkers. Since World War II, human activities have introduced a wide array of compounds into the environment, including insecticides such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane and pesticides, halocarbons (chlorofluorocarbons), sewage products (coprostanol), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The chapter introduces structural features of these compounds, their distribution and transformation in the environment, and their potential use(s) as tracers. It presents examples of how relationships between anthropogenic markers and biomarkers can be used to provide information about the sources, delivery, and fate of natural organic matter in aquatic ecosystems. It introduces various emerging contaminants (personal care pharmaceutical products, caffeine, and flame retardants) and their potential use as tracers for anthropogenic organic matter in aquatic ecosystems. It describes how δ13C, stable isotopes of Cl and Br, and radiocarbon can be used to apportion sources of organic contaminants (e.g., PAHs and PCBs).
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