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The impact of iodinated X-ray contrast agents on formation and toxicity of disinfection by-products in drinking water

Jeong, Clara H., Machek, Edward J., Shakeri, Morteza, Duirk, Stephen E., Ternes, Thomas A., Richardson, Susan D., Wagner, Elizabeth D., Plewa, Michael J.
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2017 v.58 pp. 173-182
X-radiation, byproducts, chlorine, cytotoxicity, disinfectants, disinfection, drinking water, genotoxicity, mammals, public health, resins, Ohio
The presence of iodinated X-ray contrast media (ICM) in source waters is of high concern to public health because of their potential to generate highly toxic disinfection by-products (DBPs). The objective of this study was to determine the impact of ICM in source waters and the type of disinfectant on the overall toxicity of DBP mixtures and to determine which ICM and reaction conditions give rise to toxic by-products. Source waters collected from Akron, OH were treated with five different ICMs, including iopamidol, iopromide, iohexol, diatrizoate and iomeprol, with or without chlorine or chloramine disinfection. The reaction product mixtures were concentrated with XAD resins and the mammalian cell cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of the reaction mixture concentrates was measured. Water containing iopamidol generated an enhanced level of mammalian cell cytotoxicity and genotoxicity after disinfection. While chlorine disinfection with iopamidol resulted in the highest cytotoxicity overall, the relative iopamidol-mediated increase in toxicity was greater when chloramine was used as the disinfectant compared with chlorine. Four other ICMs (iopromide, iohexol, diatrizoate, and iomeprol) expressed some cytotoxicity over the control without any disinfection, and induced higher cytotoxicity when chlorinated. Only iohexol enhanced genotoxicity compared to the chlorinated source water.