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Sci Total Environ. 2009 May 15;407(11):3540-5. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.02.014. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

A nationwide survey of NDMA in raw and drinking water in Japan.

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Department of Water Supply Engineering, National Institute of Public Health, 2-3-6 Minami, Wako, Saitama 351-0197 Japan.


A nationwide survey of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in both raw and finished water samples from drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) in Japan was conducted. NDMA was analyzed by solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). NDMA was detected in 15 of 31 raw water samples collected in the summer at concentrations up to 2.6 ng/L, and in 9 of 28 raw water samples collected in winter at concentrations up to 4.3 ng/L. The NDMA concentrations were higher in raw water samples collected from treatment plants with catchment areas that have high population densities. The NDMA concentrations were higher in river water samples collected from the east and west of Japan than in those collected from other areas. NDMA was detected in 10 of 31 finished samples collected in summer at reduced concentrations of up to 2.2 ng/L, while 5 of 28 finished samples collected in winter showed NDMA concentrations up to 10 ng/L. The highest NDMA levels were detected in finished water samples collected from the Yodo River basin DWTP, which uses ozonation. Furthermore, evaluation of the process water produced at six advanced water treatment plants was conducted. Influent from the Yodo River indicated that the NDMA concentration increased during ozonation to as high as 20 ng/L, and then decreased with subsequent biological activated carbon treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first nationwide evaluation of NDMA concentrations in water conducted in Japan to date.

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