Determination of Low-Level Haloacetic Acids, Bromate, and Dalapon in Drinking Water Using IC-MS

Drinking Water
Poster Presentation

Presented by H. Yang
Prepared by C. Shevlin, H. Yang, J. Rohrer
Thermo Fisher Scientific, 1214 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale, California, 94085, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 774-402-0647


Disinfection treatment is essential to eliminate waterborne disease-causing microorganisms from drinking water. Municipal water authorities most commonly disinfect water using chemical disinfectants such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, chloramine, and ozone. However, these disinfectants can react with naturally occurring material in the water to form unintended disinfection byproducts (DBPs). For example, chlorination of drinking water can produce trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids (HAAs), and chlorate; bromate is formed when disinfecting ozone reacts with natural sources of bromide. These DBPs may pose health risks. For example, long term ingestion of bromate or haloacetic acids may cause cancer.
Dalapon, an herbicide used to control grasses in a wide variety of crops, can be introduced to waterways from runoff. People who for many years drink water containing dalapon in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL), the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water, could experience minor kidney changes.

There are nine species of HAAs that contain chlorine and/or bromine: monochloroacetic acid (MCAA), monobromoacetic acid (MBAA), dichloroacetic acid (DCAA), bromochloroacetic acid (BCAA), dibromoacetic acid (DBAA), trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), bromodichloroacetic acid (BDCAA), chlorodibromoacetic acid (CDBAA), and tribromoacetic acid (TBAA). Of these nine HAAs, five are currently regulated by the EPA (HAA5) with a cumulative legal limit of 60 μg/L (60 μg/L) in drinking water (Table 1). The MCL for bromate is 10 μg/L (10 μg/L), while dalapon is 0.2 mg/L (200 μg/L).

This study evaluated the determination of haloacetic acids, bromate, and dalapon in drinking water using a using an ion chromatograph coupled with a single quadrupole mass spectrometer. This poster shows that the method is sensitive (< 1 μg/L) and fast (40 min) to determine HAA5.