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Sci Total Environ. 2013 Oct 1;463-464:922-30. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.06.104. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Exposure assessment for trihalomethanes in municipal drinking water and risk reduction strategy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: schowdhury@kfupm.edu.sa.

Abstract

Lifetime exposure to disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in municipal water may pose risks to human health. Current approaches of exposure assessments use DBPs in cold water during showering, while warming of chlorinated water during showering may increase trihalomethane (THM) formation in the presence of free residual chlorine. Further, DBP exposure through dermal contact during showering is estimated using steady-state condition between the DBPs in shower water impacting on human skin and skin exposed to shower water. The lag times to achieve steady-state condition between DBPs in shower water and human skin can vary in the range of 9.8-391.2 min, while shower duration is often less than the lag times. Assessment of exposure without incorporating these factors might have misinterpreted DBP exposure in some previous studies. In this study, exposure to THMs through ingestion was estimated using cold water THMs, while THM exposure through inhalation and dermal contact during showering was estimated using THMs in warm water. Inhalation of THMs was estimated using THM partition into the shower air, while dermal uptake was estimated by incorporating lag times (e.g., unsteady and steady-state phases of exposure) during showering. Probabilistic approach was followed to incorporate uncertainty in the assessment. Inhalation and dermal contact during showering contributed 25-60% of total exposure. Exposure to THMs during showering can be controlled by varying shower stall volume, shower duration and air exchange rate following power law equations. The findings might be useful in understanding exposure to THMs, which can be extended to other volatile compounds in municipal water.

© 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Dermal contact; Disinfection byproducts; Exposure assessment; Ingestion; Inhalation; Lag time

PMID:
23872246
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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