Evidence-based analysis on the toxicity of disinfection byproducts in vivo and in vitro for disinfection selection Academic Article uri icon


  • Disinfection is a key step in drinking water treatment process to prevent water-borne infections. However, reactions between chlorine, one of the most common disinfectants, and natural organic matter (NOM) often lead to the formation of hazardous disinfection byproducts (DBPs). However, the cytotoxicity of some DBPs is still poorly understood. Such knowledge is critical for proper selection of disinfection processes. We investigated the effects of DBPs on mouse acute liver injury. The exacerbation of liver damage increased with the DBPs concentrations, likely due to the increased hepatic macrophages. Haloacetonitriles (HANs) and haloketones (HKs) are more toxic to Human Hepatocellular (Hep3B) cells than trihalomethanes (THMs). Cytotoxicity of DBPs were governed by the halogen type (brominated DBPs > chlorinated DBPs) and the numbers of halogen atoms per molecule. Then, we used the pilot-scale WDS to study the best conditions for reducing the formation of DBPs. The result showed that the formation of DBPs followed the order: stainless-steel (SS) > ductile iron (DI) > polyethylene (PE) pipe. Higher flowrate promoted the formation of DBPs in all three pipes. The results suggest that the formation of DBPs in chlorine disinfection can be reduced by using PE pipes and low flow rate in water distribution systems (WDS).

published proceedings

  • Water Res

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Dong, F., Chen, J., Li, C., Ma, X., Jiang, J., Lin, Q., Lin, C., & Diao, H.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Dong, Feilong||Chen, Jianing||Li, Cong||Ma, Xingmao||Jiang, Jingjing||Lin, Qiufeng||Lin, Chenhong||Diao, Hongyan

publication date

  • November 2019