In 2010, the American Chemical Society (ACS) published online and in print a new book entitled, "Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment: Ecological and Human Health Considerations." The present introductory chapter provides a history of key events leading up to this publication. The book contains a number of scientific studies first presented during a 2009 ACS symposium on 'Emerging Contaminants, Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs), and Organohalogens in Wastewater and Municipal Biosolids', conducted as part of the 238th National Meeting of the ACS in Washington, D.C. However, the book's focus is much broader, covering additional environmental media, including groundwater, raw and treated drinking water, runoff from agricultural fields, as well as terrestrial and aquatic biota exposed to contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Scientific and regulatory information is presented in three major sections: (i) Environmental Sources, Occurrences, and Fate of CECs, (ii) Ecotoxicological and Human Health Risks of CECs, and (iii) Modeling Tools, Research Needs, and PolicyOptions for Managing CECs. The book comprises some 27 chapters, many of which are written by preeminent experts from government and academia. The book adds to a rapidly growing body of literature on CECs by providing a comprehensive and authoritative, i.e., peer-reviewed, perspective of CECs in the environment and associated human and ecological health concerns. It may serve as a desk reference for the various stakeholders or as a textbook for graduate-level courses examining the connection between human society and the environment, with particular emphasis on the water cycle.