Similar term(s): halogenated acetonitriles, HANs, ethanenitriles, halonitriles.
Organic compounds in which a methyl group (CH3+) is attached to a CN- ion, where one or more of the hydrogen atoms are substituted by halogens (chlorine, bromine, fluorine and/or iodine). Examples of haloacetonitriles are bromochloroacetonitrile, chloroacetonitrile and dibromoacetonitrile.
Although in the past, chloroacetonitrile and trichloroacetonitrile have had a limited use as pesticides, haloacetonitriles are not manufactured today. Haloacetonitriles do exist as a drinking water disinfectant byproducts when water is chlorinated as a consequence of the reaction of chlorine with natural organic matter and bromide ions in the raw water supply.
For more information on the haloacetonitriles:
WHO Guidelines for drinking water quality