Haloacetic acids, bromate, and dalapon in natural waters – new method is 50% faster than current USEPA method

Water drop bouncing off the water surface

Wu et. al. present a new method to analyze nine haloacetic acids (HAAs), bromate, and dalapon plus four potentially more toxic iodinated HAAs in natural waters by coupling ion chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (IC-MS/MS). The new method is 50% faster than the current USEPA method 557 including more compounds and achieving sub-µg/L level detection limits for all 15 target analytes. 

HAAs are one of the most commonly detected disinfection by-products in US water utilities. Some of them are regulated by the USEPA and have been classified as potentially carcinogenic. HAAs have traditionally been analyzed by GC methods, which require derivatization and sample extraction, which are laborious, time-consuming, and can have a negative effect on reproducibility.

The method presented in the paper by Wu et. al. overcomes these disadvantage by coupling ion chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. The method was applied to investigate concentrations of 13 HAAs, bromate, and dalapon in untreated, chlorinated and chloraminated groundwater and surface water samples.  The method provides an easy approach to assess the health risk of HAAs, especially the highly toxic iodinated HAAs. 

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