Genotoxic and clastogenic effects of monohaloacetic acid drinking water disinfection by-products in primary human lymphocytes

Luisa F. Escobar-Hoyos, Luz Stella Hoyos-Giraldo, Elizabeth Londoño-Velasco, Ingrid Reyes-Carvajal, Diana Saavedra-Trujillo, Silvio Carvajal-Varona, Adalberto Sánchez-Gómez, Elizabeth D. Wagner, Michael J. Plewa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The haloacetic acids (HAAs) are the second-most prevalent class of drinking water disinfection by-products formed by chemical disinfectants. Previous studies have determined DNA damage and repair of HAA-induced lesions in mammalian and human cell lines; however, little is known of the genomic DNA and chromosome damage induced by these compounds in primary human cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic and clastogenic effects of the monoHAA disinfection by-products in primary human lymphocytes. All monoHAAs were genotoxic in primary human lymphocytes, the rank order of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity was IAA > BAA >> CAA. After 6 h of repair time, only 50% of the DNA damage (maximum decrease in DNA damage) was repaired compared to the control. This demonstrates that primary human lymphocytes are less efficient in repairing the induced damage by monoHAAs than previous studies with mammalian cell lines. In addition, the monoHAAs induced an increase in the chromosome aberration frequency as a measurement of the clastogenic effect of these compounds. These results coupled with genomic technologies in primary human cells and other mammalian non-cancerous cell lines may lead to the identification of biomarkers that may be employed in feedback loops to aid water chemists and engineers in the overall goal of producing safer drinking water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3282-3290
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 15 2013


  • BAA
  • CA
  • CAA
  • CHO cells
  • Chromosome aberrations
  • DBPs
  • DNA damage and repair kinetics
  • Disinfection by-products
  • EMS
  • FBS
  • HAA
  • Haloacetic acids
  • IAA
  • SCGE
  • Single cell gel electrophoresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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