THE SIGNIFICANCE TO HEALTH OF DRINKING WATER DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS
Report No FR0288
G O'Neill, J K Fawell
To review the toxicology of the disinfectants chlorine, ozone, chlorine dioxide and chloramine and their principal by-products formed during water treatment. To determine whether any of the by-products discussed may, in the future, limit the use of any of the disinfectants.
Increasing regulation of chlorination by-products and the continuing concern, particularly in the USA, over the possibility of a low level of risk to consumers has prompted more research on various alternative disinfectants to chlorine such as ozone, chlorine dioxide and chloramine. Therefore there is a need for data on by-products formed by chlorine and alternative disinfectants and, in particular, their health effects.
V RESUME OF CONTENTS
This report reviews the toxicology of the disinfectants chlorine, ozone, chlorine dioxide and chloramine and their principal by-products and considers how this may affect the use of these disinfectants. It would appear that all of these disinfectants, which are oxidising chemicals, will produce by-products or breakdown products which may limit their use. Bromate and chlorate would appear to be the by-products of most concern, although there are many gaps in the toxicological database of both these and other by-products.
The implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations are made. A table of the by-products considered and the likelihood of their future regulation is included.
Copies of the Report are available from FWR, price £15.00 less 20% to FWR Members