The contamination of the environment with traditional therapeutics due to metabolic excretion, improper disposal, and industrial waste has been well-recognized. However, knowledge of the environmental distribution and fate of emerging classes of nanomedicine is scarce. This work investigates the effect of surface chemistry of polymeric nanoparticulate drug delivery systems (PNDDS) on their adsorption dynamics and transport in the vicinity of environmentally relevant surfaces for a concentration comparable with hospital and pharmaceutical manufacturing effluents. To this end, five different types of paclitaxel-based nanomedicine having different polymer stabilizers were employed. Their transport behavior was characterized via quartz crystal microbalance, sand column, spectrofluorometry, and dynamic light scattering techniques. PNDDS having positive zeta-potential displayed strong adsorption onto silica surfaces and no mobility in porous media of quartz sand, even in the presence of humic acid. The mobility of negatively charged PNDDS strongly depended on the amount and type of salt present in the aqueous media: Without any salt, such PNDDS demonstrated no adsorption on silica surfaces and high levels of mobility in sand columns. The presence of CaCl2 and CaSO4, even at low ionic strengths (i.e. 10 mM), induced PNDDS adsorption on silica surfaces and strongly limited the mobility of such PNDSS in sand columns.