Alveolar air and urine analyses as biomarkers of exposure to trihalomethanes in an indoor swimming pool.

Caro J, Gallego M.

Department of Analytical Chemistry, Campus of Rabanales, University of Córdoba, E-14071 Córdoba, Spain.

The exposure of workers and swimmers at an indoor swimming pool to trihalomethanes (THMs) as a consequence of water chlorination was evaluated by analyzing alveolar air and urine samples. Environmental monitoring of THMs in water and ambient air was also performed in order to assess the possible correlation between environmental and biological samples. The sampling was done concurrently, taking the urine and alveolar air samples before and after the work shift for 15 workers and the swimming activity for 12 swimmers. A high THM uptake was observed in alveolar air and urine of subjects exposed, with chloroform being the most abundant THM. Mean chloroform levels in alveolar air and urine before exposure were 4 microg/ m3 and 475 ng/L, respectively. After 2 h of exposure, concentration increases of ca. 8 times in alveolar air and 2 times in urine were observed in workers. After 1 h swimming, the increases found in swimmers were ca. 20 and 3 times in alveolar air and urine, respectively. High increases have also been observed in bromodichloromethane levels. We have obtained excellent correlations between the chloroform concentrations found in the swimming pool ambient air/alveolar air, and between the urine/ alveolar air of the participants after exposure (r > 0.9). In conclusion, alveolar air provides better response sensitivity and shorter reaction time to external exposure than urine, being therefore the most sensitive biomarker.

PMID: 18678040 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Trihalomethane formation during swimming pool water disinfection using hypobromous and hypochlorous acids

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S. J. Judd and J. A. Jeffrey

School of Water Sciences, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, England
Available online 17 February 2000.


The formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) in a model swimming pool using hypobromous and hypochlorous acids as disinfectants has been studied. Factorial design was used to generate and process data from systematically-conducted experiments on a series of 11 samples of swimming pool simulant. The variables considered were organic loading (urine and humic acid concentration), disinfectant type and concentration, incubation time and degree of agitation. A disinfectant concentration of 6 mg l−1 was used throughout. The variables affecting bromoform formation were urine and humic acid concentration and disinfectant type. Interactions were observed between humic acid and urine and also between urine and disinfectant. The effect of urine was to suppress bromoform formation. Levels of chlorine-containing THMs were unaffected by humic acid at the concentrations used; only the urine concentration and disinfectant type had a significant effect on these THMs. No interactions between any three or more variables were observed for any THM.

Author Keywords: trihalomethanes; swimming pools; hypochlorous acid; hypobromous acid; disinfection by-products

Article Outline

• References

[Environ Sci Technol. 2007]

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