• Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Article: found
Is Open Access

Peptide bonds affect the formation of haloacetamides, an emerging class of N-DBPs in drinking water: free amino acids versus oligopeptides

Read this article at

      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


      Haloacetamides (HAcAms), an emerging class of nitrogenous disinfection by-products (N-DBPs) of health concern, have been frequently identified in drinking waters. It has long been appreciated that free amino acids (AAs), accounting for a small fraction of the dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) pool, can form dichloroacetamide (DCAcAm) during chlorination. However, the information regarding the impacts of combined AAs, which contribute to the greatest identifiable DON portion in natural waters, is limited. In this study, we compared the formation of HAcAms from free AAs (tyrosine [Tyr] and alanine [Ala]) and combined AAs (Tyr-Ala, Ala-Tyr, Tyr-Tyr-Tyr, Ala-Ala-Ala), and found that HAcAm formation from the chlorination of AAs in combined forms (oligopeptides) significantly exhibited a different pattern with HAcAm formation from free AAs. Due to the presence of peptide bonds in tripeptides, Tyr-Tyr-Tyr and Ala-Ala-Ala produced trichloroacetamide (TCAcAm) in which free AAs was unable to form TCAcAm during chlorination. Moreover, peptide bond in tripeptides formed more tri-HAcAms than di-HAcAms in the presence of bromide. Therefore, the peptide bond may be an important indicator to predict the formation of specific N-DBPs in chlorination. The increased use of algal- and wastewater-impacted water as drinking water sources will increase health concerns over exposure to HAcAms in drinking water.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 18

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      Occurrence, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity of regulated and emerging disinfection by-products in drinking water: a review and roadmap for research.

      Disinfection by-products (DBPs) are formed when disinfectants (chlorine, ozone, chlorine dioxide, or chloramines) react with naturally occurring organic matter, anthropogenic contaminants, bromide, and iodide during the production of drinking water. Here we review 30 years of research on the occurrence, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity of 85 DBPs, 11 of which are currently regulated by the U.S., and 74 of which are considered emerging DBPs due to their moderate occurrence levels and/or toxicological properties. These 74 include halonitromethanes, iodo-acids and other unregulated halo-acids, iodo-trihalomethanes (THMs), and other unregulated halomethanes, halofuranones (MX [3-chloro-4-(dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone] and brominated MX DBPs), haloamides, haloacetonitriles, tribromopyrrole, aldehydes, and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and other nitrosamines. Alternative disinfection practices result in drinking water from which extracted organic material is less mutagenic than extracts of chlorinated water. However, the levels of many emerging DBPs are increased by alternative disinfectants (primarily ozone or chloramines) compared to chlorination, and many emerging DBPs are more genotoxic than some of the regulated DBPs. Our analysis identified three categories of DBPs of particular interest. Category 1 contains eight DBPs with some or all of the toxicologic characteristics of human carcinogens: four regulated (bromodichloromethane, dichloroacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid, and bromate) and four unregulated DBPs (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, MX, and NDMA). Categories 2 and 3 contain 43 emerging DBPs that are present at moderate levels (sub- to low-mug/L): category 2 contains 29 of these that are genotoxic (including chloral hydrate and chloroacetaldehyde, which are also a rodent carcinogens); category 3 contains the remaining 14 for which little or no toxicological data are available. In general, the brominated DBPs are both more genotoxic and carcinogenic than are chlorinated compounds, and iodinated DBPs were the most genotoxic of all but have not been tested for carcinogenicity. There were toxicological data gaps for even some of the 11 regulated DBPs, as well as for most of the 74 emerging DBPs. A systematic assessment of DBPs for genotoxicity has been performed for approximately 60 DBPs for DNA damage in mammalian cells and 16 for mutagenicity in Salmonella. A recent epidemiologic study found that much of the risk for bladder cancer associated with drinking water was associated with three factors: THM levels, showering/bathing/swimming (i.e., dermal/inhalation exposure), and genotype (having the GSTT1-1 gene). This finding, along with mechanistic studies, highlights the emerging importance of dermal/inhalation exposure to the THMs, or possibly other DBPs, and the role of genotype for risk for drinking-water-associated bladder cancer. More than 50% of the total organic halogen (TOX) formed by chlorination and more than 50% of the assimilable organic carbon (AOC) formed by ozonation has not been identified chemically. The potential interactions among the 600 identified DBPs in the complex mixture of drinking water to which we are exposed by various routes is not reflected in any of the toxicology studies of individual DBPs. The categories of DBPs described here, the identified data gaps, and the emerging role of dermal/inhalation exposure provide guidance for drinking water and public health research.
        • Record: found
        • Abstract: found
        • Article: not found

        Reactions of chlorine with inorganic and organic compounds during water treatment-Kinetics and mechanisms: a critical review.

        Numerous inorganic and organic micropollutants can undergo reactions with chlorine. However, for certain compounds, the expected chlorine reactivity is low and only small modifications in the parent compound's structure are expected under typical water treatment conditions. To better understand/predict chlorine reactions with micropollutants, the kinetic and mechanistic information on chlorine reactivity available in literature was critically reviewed. For most micropollutants, HOCl is the major reactive chlorine species during chlorination processes. In the case of inorganic compounds, a fast reaction of ammonia, halides (Br(-) and I(-)), SO(3)(2-), CN(-), NO(2)(-), As(III) and Fe(II) with HOCl is reported (10(3)-10(9)M(-1)s(-1)) whereas low chlorine reaction rates with Mn(II) were shown in homogeneous systems. Chlorine reactivity usually results from an initial electrophilic attack of HOCl on inorganic compounds. In the case of organic compounds, second-order rate constants for chlorination vary over 10 orders of magnitude (i.e. <0.1-10(9)M(-1)s(-1)). Oxidation, addition and electrophilic substitution reactions with organic compounds are possible pathways. However, from a kinetic point of view, usually only electrophilic attack is significant. Chlorine reactivity limited to particular sites (mainly amines, reduced sulfur moieties or activated aromatic systems) is commonly observed during chlorination processes and small modifications in the parent compound's structure are expected for the primary attack. Linear structure-activity relationships can be used to make predictions/estimates of the reactivity of functional groups based on structural analogy. Furthermore, comparison of chlorine to ozone reactivity towards aromatic compounds (electrophilic attack) shows a good correlation, with chlorine rate constants being about four orders of magnitude smaller than those for ozone.
          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Occurrence of a new generation of disinfection byproducts.

          A survey of disinfection byproduct (DBP) occurrence in the United States was conducted at 12 drinking water treatment plants. In addition to currently regulated DBPs, more than 50 DBPs that rated a high priority for potential toxicity were studied. These priority DBPs included iodinated trihalomethanes (THMs), other halomethanes, a nonregulated haloacid, haloacetonitriles, haloketones, halonitromethanes, haloaldehydes, halogenated furanones, haloamides, and nonhalogenated carbonyls. The purpose of this study was to obtain quantitative occurrence information for new DBPs (beyond those currently regulated and/or studied) for prioritizing future health effects studies. An effort was made to select plants treating water that was high in total organic carbon and/or bromide to enable the detection of priority DBPs that contained bromine and/or iodine. THMs and haloacetic acids (HAAs) represented the two major classes of halogenated DBPs formed on a weight basis. Haloacetaldehydes represented the third major class formed in many of the waters. In addition to obtaining quantitative occurrence data, important new information was discovered or confirmed at full-scale plants on the formation and control of DBPs with alternative disinfectants to chlorine. Although the use of alternative disinfectants (ozone, chlorine dioxide, and chloramines) minimized the formation of the four regulated THMs, trihalogenated HAAs, and total organic halogen (TOX), several priority DBPs were formed at higher levels with the alternative disinfectants as compared with chlorine. For example, the highest levels of iodinated THMs-which are not part of the four regulated THMs-were found at a plant that used chloramination with no prechlorination. The highest concentration of dichloroacetaldehyde was at a plant that used chloramines and ozone; however, this disinfection scheme reduced the formation of trichloroacetaldehyde. Preozonation was found to increase the formation of trihalonitromethanes. In addition to the chlorinated furanones that have been measured previously, brominated furanones-which have seldom been analyzed-were detected, especially in high-bromide waters. The presence of bromide resulted in a shift to the formation of other bromine-containing DBPs not normally measured (e.g., brominated ketones, acetaldehydes, nitromethanes, acetamides). Collectively, -30 and 39% of the TOX and total organic bromine, respectively, were accounted for (on a median basis) bythe sum of the measured halogenated DBPs. In addition, 28 new, previously unidentified DBPs were detected. These included brominated and iodinated haloacids, a brominated ketone, and chlorinated and iodinated aldehydes.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University , Shanghai, 200092, China
            [2 ]Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University , Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
            Author notes
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            23 September 2015
            : 5
            Copyright © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit




            Comment on this article