A Bay RMP study employed a cutting edge analytical technique to detect low levels of five unmonitored compounds in wildlife of San Francisco Bay. San Francisco Bay wildlife were tested for previously unmonitored contaminants using a non-targeted analysis that screens mainly for long-lived, fat-soluble, chlorine- and bromine-rich chemicals. Bay mussel and harbor seal samples contained five contaminants not previously identified in Bay wildlife, and for which toxicity is largely unknown. The detection of these compounds suggests that the original or “parent” contaminants may not always be the most important chemical to monitor in wildlife.


Most of the Bay chemical contamination was from high priority contaminants that the RMP already monitors, or closely related compounds. This suggests that many of the highest priority persistent chlorinated and brominated chemicals have already been identified, with key contaminants regularly monitored.

Download the fact sheet for more details on this Bay RMP project.

2010 to 2014
Associated Staff: 
Programs and Focus Areas: 
Clean Water Program
Bay Regional Monitoring Program
Contaminants of Emerging Concern
Location Information
General Project Location(s): 
San Francisco Bay and surrounding watershed; also Napa and Sonoma Counties