Integrated disinfection by-products mixtures research: comprehensive characterization of water concentrates prepared from chlorinated and ozonated/postchlorinated drinking water

J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008;71(17):1165-86. doi: 10.1080/15287390802182417.


This article describes the disinfection by-product (DBP) characterization portion of a series of experiments designed for comprehensive chemical and toxicological evaluation of two drinking-water concentrates containing highly complex mixtures of DBPs. This project, called the Four Lab Study, involved the participation of scientists from four laboratories and centers of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development, along with collaborators from the water industry and academia, and addressed toxicologic effects of complex DBP mixtures, with an emphasis on reproductive and developmental effects that are associated with DBP exposures in epidemiologic studies. Complex mixtures of DBPs from two different disinfection schemes (chlorination and ozonation/postchlorination) were concentrated successfully, while maintaining a water matrix suitable for animal studies. An array of chlorinated/brominated/iodinated DBPs was created. The DBPs were relatively stable over the course of the animal experiments, and a significant portion of the halogenated DBPs formed in the drinking water was accounted for through a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative identification approach. DBPs quantified included priority DBPs that are not regulated but have been predicted to produce adverse health effects, as well as those currently regulated in the United States and those targeted during implementation of the Information Collection Rule. New by-products were also reported for the first time. These included previously undetected and unreported bromo- and chloroacids, iodinated compounds, bromo- and iodophenols, and bromoalkyltins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disinfectants / analysis*
  • Disinfectants / chemistry
  • Disinfectants / toxicity
  • Halogenation*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated / analysis*
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated / chemistry
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / analysis*
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / chemistry
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Water Supply / analysis
  • Water Supply / standards*


  • Disinfectants
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated