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Water Disinfectants & disinfectant by-products

2. What happens to disinfectants and their by-products when ingested or inhaled?

  • 2.1 Kinetics and metabolism of disinfectants
  • 2.2 Kinetics and metabolism of chlorine by-products
  • 2.3 Kinetics and metabolism of chlorine dioxide by-products
  • 2.4 Kinetics and metabolism of ozonation by-products

2.1 Kinetics and metabolism of disinfectants

Some of the chlorine disinfectant can still be present in drinking water and react with saliva and stomach content, resulting in the formation of disinfectant by-products similar to those they produce in water. More...

2.2 Kinetics and metabolism of chlorine by-products

The way chlorine by-products are metabolised depends on several factors:

  • Trihalomethanes (THMs) can be taken in by drinking the water and breathing its vapours (for example when showering). They are then metabolised and eliminated rapidly. Most THMs are metabolised into a less-toxic form, but some are transformed into more reactive substances, especially at high concentrations.
  • Different haloacetic acids are eliminated differently. Dichloroacetic acid (DCA) is metabolised by forming both monochloroacetic acid and substances naturally found in human metabolism, the rate of conversion being dependent on the dose. trichloroacetic acid is partly metabolised to DCA, which then undergoes further conversion.
  • Chloral hydrate undergoes several transformations in the body, leading to the formation of trichloroacetic and dichloroacetic acids (see above).
  • Little is known about the elimination of haloacetonitriles.
  • The most studied halogenated hydroxyfuranone derivative is called MX. Research indicates that MX is rapidly absorbed and excreted, mainly in urine but also in feces. MX itself cannot directly be measured in blood.

More...

2.3 Kinetics and metabolism of chlorine dioxide by-products

The main by-products of chlorine dioxide, chlorite and chlorate, are probably absorbed and largely broken down to chloride in the body. More...

2.4 Kinetics and metabolism of ozonation by-products

Bromate formed during ozonation of the water is rapidly broken down to inorganic bromide and eliminated in urine. More...


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