Haloacetic Acids Analysis –Evaluation of Alternatives for Their Improved Analysis.

Drinking Water (Session 2)
Oral Presentation

Prepared by R. Marfil-Vega
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, 7102 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD, 21046, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 410-910-0884


Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are known carcinogens that may occur as disinfection byproducts in drinking water. Currently, five HAAs (HAA5) are regulated in drinking water under the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule, expected to be revised within the next six years. The occurrence of four more HAAs was recently completed under the Unregulated Contaminant Rule 4 (2018-2020). Hence, laboratories supporting drinking water utilities will continue analyzing HAA5 (or HAA9) on a routine basis. The vast majority of utilities and environmental commercial laboratories use EPA method 552.3 for the analysis of HAAs to ensure compliance with federal regulations and process control monitoring. However, this method is tedious and prone to errors due to the complex sample preparation. Also, reagents required are potentially harmful for humans and ecosystems if not handled and disposed properly. Method EPA 557, based on the use of ion chromatography mass spectrometry, is an alternative for the analysis of HAAs that has not been yet widely implemented. An easier and faster method for the analysis of HAAs based on the direct injection of the samples onto a LC-MSMS is a promising alternative, already approved for compliance monitoring in other countries. Because of the ease of implementation, fast turnaround time and minimized used of hazardous chemicals, this method could significantly improve operations, including safety, in the laboratory for the monitoring of HAAs. In this presentation, we will present the advantages and disadvantages from the three main methods (GC/ECD, IC-MS/MS, LC-MS/MS) for the analysis of HAAs and share the performance evaluation of the LC-MS/MS method.