The haloacetic acids (HAAs) are disinfection by-products (DBPs) that are formed during the disinfection of drinking water, wastewaters and recreational pool waters. Currently, five HAAs [bromoacetic acid (BAA), dibromoacetic acid (DBAA), chloroacetic acid (CAA), dichloroacetic acid (DCAA), and trichloroacetic acid (TCAA); designated as HAA5] are regulated by the U.S. EPA, at a maximum contaminant level of 60 μg/L for the sum of BAA, DBAA, CAA, DCAA, and TCAA. We present a comparative systematic analysis of chronic cytotoxicity and acute genomic DNA damaging capacity of 12 individual HAAs in mammalian cells. In addition to the HAA5, we analyzed iodoacetic acid (IAA), diiodoacetic acid (DiAA), bromoiodoacetic acid (BIAA), tribromoacetic acid (TBAA), chlorodibromoacetic acid (CDBAA), bromodichloroacetic acid (BDCAA), and bromochloroacetic acid (BCAA). Their rank order of chronic cytotoxicity in Chinese hamster ovary cells was IAA > BAA > TBAA > CDBAA > DIAA > DBAA > BDCAA > BCAA > CAA > BIAA > TCAA > DCAA. The rank order for genotoxicity was IAA > BAA > CAA > DBAA > DIAA > TBAA > BCAA > BIAA > CDBAA. DCAA, TCAA, and BDCAA were not genotoxic. The trend for both cytotoxicity and genotoxicity is iodinated HAAs > brominated HAAs > chlorinated HAAs. The use of alternative disinfectants other than chlorine generates new DBPs and alters their distribution. Systematic, comparative, in vitro toxicological data provides the water supply community with information to consider when employing alternatives to chlorine disinfection. In addition, these data aid in prioritizing DBPs and their related compounds for future in vivo toxicological studies and risk assessment.
- Comet assay
- Drinking water
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis