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Water Res. 2001 Dec;35(18):4293-8.

Effect of bromide ions on genotoxicity of halogenated by-products from chlorination of humic acid in water.

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  • 1Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, Hyogo, Japan.


Genotoxicity of halogenated by-products obtained by chlorination of humic acid in water was evaluated in the presence of bromide ions (Br-). After the halogenated humic acid solution was made to flow through CSP800 cartridge, absorbed substances were eluted with dimethyl sulfoxide or acetone, and subjected to mutagenicity assays and to analysis of trihalomethanes (THMs). Mutagenic activity was measured by Ames tests using S. typhimurium TA100 strain without metabolic activation, and by the frequencies of micronuclei formation using cultured Chinese hamster lung cells (CHL/IU) in vitro. A powerful effect of bromide ions in chlorinated humic acid solutions was observed on the reverse mutation and micronuclei formations. The formations of total THMs and more brominated THMs were also enhanced in the presence of bromide ions. The ratio of [Br-/Cl-] regulated the composition and concentrations of THMs intensely, and the rate of substitution of Br- was greater than that of chloride ions (Cl-). The increments of the mutagenicity and total THMs formed in chlorinated solutions were observed in parallel with the concentration of Br- or Cl-. From the observations, it was concluded that the increasing mutagenicity might be caused by the increasing chlorinated and/or brominated by-products.

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