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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 16;8(4):e60858. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060858. Print 2013.

An optimized analytical method for the simultaneous detection of iodoform, iodoacetic acid, and other trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids in drinking water.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Public Health and Safety, Ministry of Education, Department of Environment Health, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


An optimized method is presented using liquid-liquid extraction and derivatization for the extraction of iodoacetic acid (IAA) and other haloacetic acids (HAA9) and direct extraction of iodoform (IF) and other trihalomethanes (THM4) from drinking water, followed by detection by gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). A Doehlert experimental design was performed to determine the optimum conditions for the five most significant factors in the derivatization step: namely, the volume and concentration of acidic methanol (optimized values  = 15%, 1 mL), the volume and concentration of Na2SO4 solution (129 g/L, 8.5 mL), and the volume of saturated NaHCO3 solution (1 mL). Also, derivatization time and temperature were optimized by a two-variable Doehlert design, resulting in the following optimized parameters: an extraction time of 11 minutes for IF and THM4 and 14 minutes for IAA and HAA9; mass of anhydrous Na2SO4 of 4 g for IF and THM4 and 16 g for IAA and HAA9; derivatization time of 160 min and temperature at 40°C. Under optimal conditions, the optimized procedure achieves excellent linearity (R(2) ranges 0.9990-0.9998), low detection limits (0.0008-0.2 µg/L), low quantification limits (0.008-0.4 µg/L), and good recovery (86.6%-106.3%). Intra- and inter-day precision were less than 8.9% and 8.8%, respectively. The method was validated by applying it to the analysis of raw, flocculated, settled, and finished waters collected from a water treatment plant in China.

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